Abraham's Children. Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of by Kelly James Clark

By Kelly James Clark

Scarcely any state in latest international can declare to be freed from intolerance. Israel and Palestine, Northern eire, the Sudan, the Balkans, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the Caucasus are only the various components of intractable clash, it appears encouraged or exacerbated by way of non secular variations. Can committed Jews, Christians, or Muslims stay precise to their very own basic ideals and practices, but additionally locate paths towards liberty, tolerance, and appreciate for these of different faiths?

In this extremely important e-book, fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions deal with non secular liberty and tolerance from the views in their personal religion traditions. Former President Jimmy Carter, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Indonesia's first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and the opposite writers draw on their own stories and at the sacred writings which are crucial of their personal non secular lives. instead of hoping on "pure reason," as secularists might...

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Extra info for Abraham's Children. Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict

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Faith-Based Tolerance I conceived of Abraham’s Children after I had completed a draft of my book Explaining God Away? written in response to Dawkins and the New Atheists. In that book, I address their philosophical arguments against rational religious belief. I only briefly consider their claims regarding religious intolerance because these claims are irrelevant to the philosophical discussion that concerned me. But their insistent recitations of religious intolerance and violence deeply troubled me.

Thus, states the Torah, the threat of idolatry—that is, humans’ tendency to worship themselves and their power and, as a result, to enslave others—remains a dangerous threat for the existence of the world (Ezek. 19:3). God, according to the Jews’ perception of the world, chose Abraham and Sarah to build a family that would stop the world from deteriorating into idolatry. God elected a family that would set an example of how to protect human freedom in the difficult contexts of human existence, overcoming our vulnerabilities and tendencies to enslave ourselves and others.

Moreover, Western, secular, liberal, rationalistic justifications of liberty and tolerance are unlikely to appeal to serious, conservative religious believers. Such believers do not take Western (“imperialistic,” “rationalistic,” “atheistic,” “colonizing,” “immoral,” and so on) culture and values as their source of authority. They take only their own holy writ and their own religious tradition as authoritative. Calling such believers “ignorant” unless they accede to Western secular, liberal arguments is unlikely to do more than make the name-caller feel superior to “benighted” religious believers and to cause such religious believers to dig in their righteous heels.

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