“Tolerance” is not enough

Rajiv Malhotra writes in the Huffington Post:

Tolerance was a political “deal” arranged between enemies to quell the violence (a kind of cease-fire) without yielding any ground. Since it was not based on genuine respect for difference, it inevitably broke down. . .

I then decided to experiment with “mutual respect” as a replacement for the oft-touted “tolerance” in my forthcoming talks and lectures. I found that while most practitioners of dharma religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) readily espouse mutual respect, there is considerable resistance from the Abrahamic faiths.

He argues that it is easier for those traditions that are often described as “Eastern” have an easier time with the idea of giving mutual respect to other traditions than those described as “Western” or “Abrahamic.”

Perhaps the issue lies between those traditions that worship many gods, or none, have less of a problem with respecting another very different approach than the monotheistic religions do. If there is only one God, where does one find room for different understandings of that God?

How would you understand “mutual respect”? Would it require acknowledging another’s viewpoint as equally valid as your own?

Read the fill article in the Huffington Post:

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About D Andrew Kille

Editor of the Bible Workbench
This entry was posted in International, Theory and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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