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How God Made the English - A Tolerant People?

The second in a three part series in which Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of Church History at Oxford University, explores both what it means to be English and what has shaped English identity through history.

Professor MacCulloch challenges the commonly held assumption that the English have a long and glorious tradition of tolerance. Rather, history shows that until recently the English were among the least tolerant peoples in the world. In a provocative take on English history, he challenges the fashionable wisdom that it is secular forces and the humanistic values of the Enlightenment that have influenced this English trait. Instead he argues that the root of English tolerance lies in its Christian history - although it's been a journey of accident rather than design.

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4 minutes