The winner of the JHI‘s Selma V. Forkosch Prize for the best article published in Volume 82 (2021) is Joseph Streeter, for “Conceptions of Tolerance in Antiquity and Late Antiquity” (volume 82, no. 3, pp. 357–76).
The judging committee provides the following statement:
The Selma V. Forkosch Prize committee has unanimously agreed to award the prize for the best essay published in the Journal of the History of Ideas in 2021 to Joseph Streeter for his article “Conceptions of Tolerance in Antiquity and Late Antiquity.” In this learned and lucidly argued study, the author, arguing convincingly against a large body of opinion that traces the origins of modern theories of “religious toleration” to Antiquity, brilliantly distinguishes ancient conceptions of “tolerance” from modern theories such as John Locke’s. With a critical awareness of the cultural difference separating early Christians like Tertullian and Lactanius from early modern advocates of toleration such as Voltaire and Pierre Bayle, the essay presents a philologically informed, coherent, and persuasive analysis of the divers senses of “tolerance” in Antiquity viewed in the context of the values, meanings, and practices shaped by ancient conceptions of “honor,” “anger,” “patience,” and “religion.” In capturing the meaning and significance of the concept of “tolerance” in Antiquity, this closely argued examination of its ancient contexts not only illustrates its differences from present beliefs, but also reveals what is distinctive about modern ideas of “toleration.”
Joseph Streeter is a historian of late antiquity with a side interest in the anthropology of religion. He is the co-editor, with Michael Whitby, of a collection of G.E.M. de Se. Croix’s essays entitled Christian Persecution, Martyrdom, and Orthodoxy for Oxford University Press, and of the essay “Should we worry about belief?” for the journal Anthropological Theory. He recently spoke with contributing editor Pranav Jain about the broader historical context of his prize-winning article.
The JHI Blog extends its deepest congratulations.