The Poetics of Religious Toleration in the Long British Eighteenth Century

Date: 9 June, 2017
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

The recent pressures placed on liberal understandings of religious toleration by resurgent forms of fundamentalism and populism have reignited scholarly interest in the long history of circumscribing religion in civic life. Recent critical studies have suggested that religious toleration must be understood less as an inevitable march of enlightened progress than as a set of contingent and ‘awkward’ attempts to posit new forms of communal life under a politically secure and centralised state. Such attempts relied precariously on the forging of a new language and rhetorical repertoire. In this paper, Dr Brandon Chua examines understandings of public poetry that emerged out of the English monarchy’s attempts to institutionalise a form of religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters from the Church of England in the later part of the seventeenth century. Focusing on the rhetorical and aesthetic dimensions of the broad public discussion over the place of religious identity in a newly tolerant polity, this paper draws attention to the broader anxieties over how to construe the moral commitments requisite for definitions of civic duty in an order defined by diversity. The new forms of public poetry emerging in this period conveys, this paper suggests, specific insights into the corporeal, affective, and ethical re-education demanded by a new logic of toleration.​



Dr Brandon Chua is a UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Communication and Arts. He works mainly in the field of Restoration Literature, and has published on writers such as John Locke, the Earl of Rochester, and Aphra Behn. His current research interests centre around ideas of publics and publicity in the Early English Enlightenment.

Dr Brandon Chua


About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Friday, 24 March

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

Fire Futures: codesigning for resilience

Dr Skye Doherty



Level 6, Michie Building (#9)