The early modern period witnessed tremendous upheavals in different regimes, in part caused by religiously based strife within and without their borders. Many thinkers responded to these events by formulating ‘political theologies’, i.e., interpretations of religious teachings with a view to assessing the political consequences of religion and to harmonising religious interpretations with particular conceptions of political life. We shall examine various philosophical and literary European and non-European texts of the early modern period which are both timely and thoughtful reflections on religious teachings as they relate to–and sometimes contrast with–the underpinnings of the modern state and religious freedom.