Tuesday 27 March 2018

John Toland Commemorative Stamp of Approval

Urgent Appeal
– seeking the commemorative stamp of approval –

Each year, An Post (the Irish postal service) produces, on behalf of the Irish Government, a programme of special and commemorative stamps. The process of drawing up the Stamp Programme for 2020 is now underway and suggestions that might be included in the 2020 programme are currently being accepted.

The 350th anniversary of John Toland's birth falls on 30 November 2020. If you are interested in championing the case for a special commemorative stamp to be issued, honouring the life and work of Irish-born rationalist philosopher, John Toland (thereby assuring for him, a stamp of approval that was mostly denied during his lifetime), you can send a personal submission, online or by post (see below). Hurry though! The latest date for submissions is this coming Friday, 30 March, 2018.

Entries can be submitted online or, by by the traditional method of a letter in an envelope (Do people still do that?) addressed to:
Stamp Suggestion Programme 2020
Ground Floor
An Post
O'Connell Street Lower
Dublin 1
D01 F5P2
Postage is free within Éire-Ireland (Republic of Ireland). If you are sending from outside of this jurisdiction, please make sure you put the correct postage on your envelope. Given the deadline that is looming (this coming Friday, 30 March, if you didn't get it before), you might be just as well to submit your proposal online.

If anything comes of this, we'll keep you posted!

Thursday 22 March 2018

The Legacy of John Toland

A greater part of the task assumed by a web-based project dedicated to celebrating the life, work and times of John Toland (1670-1722), must be to elucidate, to elaborate, to explain who the subject matter was, his historical role and importance, together with what has lived on once his natural life expired. This is not altogether an easy task, for the simple reason that, outside of his writings, not a lot is known about John Toland. Although he has drawn interest across a wide spectrum of disciplines and beliefs, has formed the focus of various studies, his life and work has not yet been subject to the kind of scrutiny that could be described as detailed or comprehensive.

The podcast below, carries an interview given by Dr Ian Leask to The Irish Times, which represents a certain summation that is also highly digestible. He goes into various details about Toland, his life, his ideas, his influence on others, his historical role and importance.

Dr Ian Leask is a lecturer in Theology and Philosophy at Dublin City University. He is editor of a recent edition of Toland's Letters to Serena, published by Four Courts Press, Dublin in 2013.

Sunday 11 March 2018

Introducing a New Website Dedicated To ...

John Toland (1670-1722)
– Irish-born Rationalist Philosopher and Freethinker –

John Toland, Irish-born rationalist philosopher and freethinker, died on this day (11 March) in 1722. "If you would know more of him, search his writings," he wrote in a self-penned epitaph that appeared a few days later.

Toland is best remembered today as a philosopher, freethinker, author, pamphleteer who made important contributions to the various fields of philosophy – in what today would be regarded as both the natural and social sciences.

We choose this day to formally unveil a new website dedicated to Toland, his life and work. This website will serve as a free online resource and repository of knowledge pertaining to his writings, the times in which he lived and to the social movement that he, along with others, spearheaded and represented, with particular reference to the enduring legacy and effect.

There is a lot that has been said about John Toland and probably a lot more that could be said. This website will serve the purpose of ensuring that nothing that should be said will go unsaid. That is why this is a free website, open to anyone who may wish to contribute. Furthermore, we invite those who may wish to contribute to get in touch with us.

The fact that this website is being formally unveiled on the anniversary of Toland's death is not coincidental. In fact, the date has been deliberately chosen. The 350th anniversary of Toland's birth will be observed on 30 November 2020 and the 300th anniversary of his death falls less than two years later, in 2022. We particularly encourage anyone who has an interest in these anniversaries to get in touch with us, to ensure that they are properly observed and accorded the respect that they are due. We will do our best (without fear or favour) to publicise events that are taking place, using networks and channels of communication within our reach.

Further details about this web project will be unveiled in due course. If you are interested, we encourage you to keep in touch – subscribe using the facilities that are available or sign up for e-mail alerts. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would know more, follow us.

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Got some news or an idea for a story that you would like to see covered here? We would love to hear from you. Articles and other material with a view to publication (including press releases) may be conveyed, by e-mail, to the Editor.

Milestones and Anniversaries

Further Reading

  • An Account of the Courts of Prussia and Hanover: Sent to a Minister of State in Holland by John Toland (The Manuscript Publisher, 2013)
  • Letters to Serena by John Toland (Four Courts Press, 2013)
  • Nazerenus by John Toland (Voltaire Foundation, 1999)
  • Physic without Physicians byJohn Toland (The Manuscript Publisher, 2020)
  • Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland by John Toland (The Manuscript Publisher, 2013)