Study traces evolution of cultural tolerance

ABU DHABI — A study titled 'Philosophical Elements of Cultural Tolerance' has been published by the Information Affairs Office of Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, focusing on the virtues of tolerance which has become increasingly rare to find in a society fraught with religious and sectarian fanaticism as well as political, cultural and civilisational conflicts.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 8 Aug 2005, 10:02 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:12 PM

The study deals with the linguistic and technical nuances of the term 'tolerance' with the historical evolution it witnessed at the hands of philosophers, both in the East and the West. It traces the unfolding of the concept of tolerance in Europe, beginning with the Roman era until the contemporary age, covering the ensuing period of the Protestant-Catholic destructive wars, which culminated in the definition of the concept of modern state.

It also points out that tolerance surfaced when fanaticism and terrorism took roots. It also delineates political tolerance and its link with authority and power as well as the development of this concept in statehood. "Tolerance can be comprehended only when it comes within it's historical framework, as ideas are generated to fulfil specific historical needs, underscoring in the process the logic for such a term to be established in Europe to represent a complete system of rights," the study averred.

The study indicates that tolerance has been an "urgent philosophical need" that was required to help Western societies overcome the effects of religious fanaticism which tore them apart for a century and a half.

"It has become necessary to find a rational equation which judges the connection linking religion and politics, keep its owners away from unilateral thinking and fanaticism and firmly establish the principle of relative reality," it says.

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