Samuel Pufendorfs Of the Nature andQualification of Religion (published in Latinin 1687) is a major work on the separation of politicsand religion. Written in response to the revocation ofthe Edict of Nantes by the French king Louis XIV,Pufendorf contests the right of the sovereign to controlthe religion of his subjects, because state and religionpursue wholly different ends. He concludes that, whenrulers transgress their bounds, subjects have a right todefend their religion, even by the force of arms.Pufendorfs opposition to the French king does notdemonstrate political radicalism. Instead, like JohnLocke and others who defended the concept oftoleration, Pufendorf advocates a principled, moderatedefense of toleration rather than unlimited religiousliberty.Appearing at the dawn of the Enlightenment,Pufendorfs ideas on natural law and toleration werehighly influential in both Europe and the British Isles. As Simone Zurbuchen explains in the introduction, Ofthe Nature and Qualification of Religion is amajor contribution to the history and literature ofreligious toleration.Samuel Pufendorf (16321694) was one of the most important figures in early-modern political thought. Anexact contemporary of Locke and Spinoza, he transformed the natural law theories of Grotiusand Hobbes, developed striking ideas of toleration and of the relationship between church andstate, and wrote extensive political histories and analyses of the constitution of the German empire.Jodocus Crull (d. 1713/14) was a German migr to England, a medical man, and a translator and writer.Simone Zurbuchen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Knud Haakonssen is Professor ofIntellectual History at the University ofSussex, England.