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Religious tolerance

Books dealing with intra-faith
& inter-faith religious tolerance

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bullet Some of these books are specialty publications; a few are rather expensive. However, they are often available used or surplus at much lower prices from
bullet Quotations are taken from the web site.

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The rise of tolerance, mainly in the West:

bullet Ole Peter Grell & Bob Scribner (Editors), "Tolerance and Intolerance in the European Reformation," Cambridge University Press, (2002).  The book explains "...advances and declines in tolerance and intolerance in Reformation Europe" between the years "...1500, when northern humanism had begun to make an impact, and 1648, the end of the Thirty Years War." Read reviews or order this book.
bullet John Christian Laursen, Ed., "Religious Toleration: 'The Variety of Rites' from Cyrus to Defoe," Palgrave Macmillan, (1999).  "This book brings to light a substantial portion of religious history by reviving the heritage of toleration, and it is the first to juxtapose early theories and practices of toleration in a global comparative perspective." Read reviews or order this book.
bullet John Laursen & Cary Nederman, "Beyond the Persecuting Society: Religious Toleration Before the Enlightenment," University of Pennsylvania Press, (1997).  This book studies the first indications of religious tolerance in Europe. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Stephen L. Longenecker, "Piety and Tolerance," Rowman & Littlefield, (2000).  "This book examines the influence of religion, particularly Pietism, among Pennsylvania Germans during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries." Read reviews or order this book
bullet Cary Nederman, "Worlds of Difference: European Discourses of Toleration, C. 1100-C. 1550," Pennsylvania State University Press, (2000).  This book studies the sources of religious toleration in the Middle Ages. Read reviews or order this book
bullet J.L. Taylor, "Bullheaded Black Remembers Alexander: The Story Of Alexander The Great's Invasion Of The Middle East," Trafford Publishing, (2004) This book describes the attempt by Alexander the Great to promote freedom of religion and racial equality in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Persia and Bactria. Read reviews or order this book See also the author's web page at:
bullet Perez Zagorin, "How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West," Princeton University Press, (2003).  Reviews the vicious persecutions of minorities within European Christianity and the emergence of the concept of religious toleration in the 16th and 17th century. Read reviews or order this book

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Multi-faith tolerance:

bullet Martin Forward, "Inter-religious Dialogue," Oneworld Publications (2001).  "Drawing on a wide array of sources, this accessible guide examines the past, present and future possibilities of inter-religious dialogue." Read reviews or order this book
bullet Louis Hammann & Harry BuckReligious, "Traditions and the Limits of Tolerance," Anima Publications, (1988).  "A fantastic collection of essays and insight that really gets at the meat of how we balance individual belief systems and subsequent faith with holistic world views. " Read reviews or order this book
bullet Nancy O'Meara & Stan Koehler, "The Cult around the Corner: A Handbook on Dealing with Other People's Religions," Foundation for Religious Freedom, (2002).  "...this sensible guide addresses the concerns that arise when a loved one joins an unfamiliar religious group." Read reviews or order this book
bullet Stan Koehler & Nancy O'Meara, "Tolerance 2000 : Practical Answers to Questions of Bigotry or Hate," Foundation for Religious Freedom, (2000).  "This book has answers to questions of what to do when someone you love joins a group you think you hate....This book is full of practical answers, and examples that will enlighten and inspire." Read reviews or order this book.
bullet Richard & Michele Steckel, "Faith: Many Beliefs, So Much in Common," Milestones Project, (2007). The Bemis Public Library in Littleton CO wrote:

They traveled the world "... photographing children who practice their faith in many ways. ... The Steckels believe that if we learn more about other peoplesí faiths, intolerance can be replaced with understanding. Richard Steckel has an international reputation as an author, consultant, speaker and photographer. His photographs were recently exhibited in London where 120 leaders of religious organizations met to discuss mutual cooperation. He and his wife have also received recognition from Prince Charles for their work and in 2003 they received the global Tolerance Award from The Friends of the United Nations." 3,4

bullet Steven Smith, "Getting over Equality: A Critical Diagnosis of Religious Freedom in America (Critical America Series)," New York University Press, (2001).  "Smith delineates a way for us to tolerate and respect contrary creeds without sacrificing or diluting our own beliefs -- and without pretending to believe in a spurious "equality" among the variety of diverse faiths." Read reviews or order this book
bullet Richard Wentz, "Why People Do Bad Things in the Name of Religion," Mercer University Press, (1993). "Wentz deconstructs religion to its elements and examines how fanaticism and wrong doing in the name of religion have developed. The book explains how all humans are in some way religious and how people allow that religiousness to be imprisoned within walls of their own mind's making." Read reviews or order this book

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Concerning Christianity:

bullet Brian Trent, "Remembering Hypatia," iUniverse, (2005). This is a historical novel about Hypatia, a woman teacher, inventor, and scientist at the Museum of Alexandria which was near or in the Great Library of Alexandria. She was assassinated in 413 or 414 CE (sources differ) by a Christian mob on orders of the Archbishop who was later made a saint. According to Wikipedia, "Hypatia clearly lived during a power struggle between pagans and tolerant Christians on the one side, and dogmatic Christians who demanded the final destruction of paganism on the other. Hypatia herself was a pagan..." This event more than any other marked the descent of Europe into the Dark Ages.  Read reviews or order this book 1,2
bullet Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler, "The New Tolerance: How a Cultural Movement Threatens to Destroy You, Your Faith, and Your Children," Tyndale House, (1998). This is an interesting book which defines the "new religious tolerance" as requiring that one accept all religions as equally valid. It assumes that Christianity is exclusively true, and that all other religions are false. Many reviewers at give the book a maximum, 5 stars, rating. One writes:  "A subtle reign of terror has descended upon America and America's conservative Christians and few are prepared to endure, much less counter the hate and pseudo-tolerance... sweeping our society." The rest mostly give it the minimum rating of 1 star. One writes: "McDowell attempts to convince that reader the tolerance of difference is the same as tolerance of evil." Read reviews or order this book.
bullet Graham N. Stanton & Guy G. Stroumsa (Editors), "Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity," Cambridge University Press, (1998). This is a rather expensive book which considers issues of tolerance and intolerance faced by Jews and Christians between approximately 200 BCE and 200 CE. Read reviews or order this book.

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Concerning Islam:

bullet Barry Van Driel, "Confronting Islamophobia in Educational Practice," Trentham Books, (2004).  "Contributors from the US, Europe, Australia and Israel show how schools, teachers, and students are coping with the stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination that are building up against Islam and its followers." Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store.
bullet Khaled Abou El Fadl, et al., "The Place of Tolerance in Islam," Beacon Press, (2002).  "Through a close reading of the Qur'an, Khaled Abou El Fadl shows that injunctions to violence against nonbelievers stem from misreadings." Eleven experts respond to his belief. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Irshad Manji, "The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's call for reform in her faith," St, Martin's Press, (2004).  The author is a feminist lesbian Muslim television journalist in Toronto, Canada. "Intolerance for dissent, especially women's dissent, is one of her main complaints about Islam. Clearly, her goal was not to write a scholarly critique, but rather to speak from her heartfelt concern about Islam....Manji also speaks with passionate love and hope for Islam, believing that democracy is compatible with its purest doctrine." She has received death threats because of her book. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Abu Hamid Al Ghazali's Faysal L Tafriqa. "On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam:  (Studies in Islamic Philosophy, V. 1),"  Oxford University Press, (2002).  The author attempts to promote intra-Islamic tolerance. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Abdullah Saeed & Hassan Saeed, "Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam," Ashgate publishing, (2004).  This book contrasts the Qura'n's requirement that anyone who leaves Islam be executed, with other passages which promote religious freedom, and with modern concepts of religious freedom. Read reviews or order this book
bullet Kathleen M. Moore, "Al-Mughtaribun: American Law and the Transformation of Muslim Life in the United States (Suny Series in Middle Eastern Studies)," State University of New York Press, (1995).  The book "...examines pluralism and religious toleration in America, viewed from the vantage point offered by the experiences of Muslims in the United States, a significant and growing part of an increasingly pluralistic society." Read reviews or order this book

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References used:

  1. "Hypatia of Alexandria," Wikipedia, at:

  2. "Remembering Hypathia" web site, at:

  3. "Behind the Cover," Bemis Public Library, 2007-SEP, at:

  4. Retail price: $14.95 Milestones Project can be contacted at: Other books are listed at:

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Copyright © 2004 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2004-OCT-26
Latest update: 2007-OCT-14
Author: B.A. Robinson

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