TOLAND, JOHN° (1670–1722), Irish-born deist, active in the theological and political controversies in England at the beginning of the 18th century. Toland was born in County Donegal, supposedly the illegitimate son of a Roman Catholic priest. At the age of 16 he rejected Catholicism, became a Presbyterian, and studied at Scottish universities. A friend of John Locke, he eventually became a Deist and, later, a Pantheist. Among his many publications was Reasons for Naturalising the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland on the Same Footing with All Other Nations (anonymously published in London in 1714, reprinted 1939). This was not as has frequently been stated a plea for the naturalization of the Jews, but for facilitating the naturalization of foreign-born Jews and thereby attracting them to England. The economic and philosophic arguments that Toland used to demonstrate the utility of the Jews to the country showed a tolerance in advance of his day. Toland also translated into English The Agreement of the Customs of the East Indians with Those of the Jews (London, 1705). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Dubnow, Weltgesch, 7 (1928), 520–3; Roth, Mag Bib, 213, 380; Wiener, in: HUCA, 16 (1941), 215–42; A. Cohen, Anglo-Jewish Scrapbook (1943), 336–7; J. Toland, Gruende fuer die Einbuergerung der Juden in Grossbritannien und Irland, ed. and tr. by H. Mainusch (Eng. and Ger., 1965), incl. bibl.; Barzilay, in: JSS, 21 (1969), 75–81. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online; S.H. Daniel, John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind (1984); R.E. Sullivan, John Toland and the Deist Controversy (1982); Katz, England, 234–36. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Toland, John — (1670–1722)    Theologian.    Toland was born in Ireland of Roman Catholic parents, but he converted to Protestantism at the age of sixteen. He was educated in Glasgow and Leyden. His first book, Christianity not Mysterious, in which he argued… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

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  • TOLAND, JOHN —    political and deistical writer, born in Derry, of Catholic parents; abandoned the Catholic faith; studied at Leyden and Oxford; his first work, Christianity not Mysterious, which created a great stir, and was burned in Ireland by the common… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • TOLAND, John — (1670 1722)    Irish writer whose book Christianity Not Mysterious (1696) is generally regarded as the classic statement of DEISM. He coined the term PANTHEISM to describe SPINOZA S view that GOD and can be identified with NATURE …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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