Sometimes, before we care about other people or love them, we must learn to tolerate them. This is only a first step, at level one of ethical attainment/development.
If you are one of the lucky ones for whom some of the values, virtues and ideas in this model seem irrelevant, then I am happy for you. However, some people struggle with them. Our human Faith model proposes a systematic exploration of the human soul and spirit. Each aspect of it will have a unique meaning to each person, even though our common humanity gives us enough common ground to make the model useful. For those who have experienced difficulty tolerating other people, tolerance is an essential virtue to seek, acquire and practice.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- James Kraft and David Basinger, eds., Religious Tolerance through Humility: Thinking with Philip Quinn (Ashgate, 2008).
- Hans Oberdiek, Tolerance: Between Forbearance and Acceptance (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001).
- Melissa S. Williams and Jeremy Waldon, Toleration and Its Limits (NYU Press, 2008).
- Wendy Brown, Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton University Press, 2006).
- Sara Bullard, Teaching Tolerance (Doubleday, 1996).
- Fethullah Gülen, Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance (The Light, Inc., 2004).
- Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini, Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance (NYU Press, 2003).
- Josh Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 1980).
- Matthew Kuefler, The Boswell Thesis: Essays on Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
- Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Studies in Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval & Modern Times (Behrman House, 1961).
From the dark side:
· Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (Houghton Mifflin, 2018): “A story of religious intolerance on a massive scale.”
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Unity (Agreement) in the Country (1641)
Film and Stage
- Stagecoach, about an old-fashioned trip West, shared by barely compatible people “thrown together by chance and forced to survive an ordeal”
I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him. [Herman Melville, Moby Dick, or the Whale (1851), Chapter 17. The Ramadan.]
Novels and stories:
- Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2016): “ . . . call it dystopian finance fiction. When the novel opens, America is perched on the cusp of catastrophe, though no one knows it yet. The population is still reeling from the aftershocks of ‘the Stonage’ (an abridgment of Stone Age), the technology blackout in 2024 that brought the entire country to a halt . . . ”
- Jenni Fagan, The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel (Hogarth, 2016): “Dylan is an orphaned giant whose mother, to obscure his troubling lineage, told him he was the product of a fallen angel and a mortal woman. . . . Stella is a double, both a boy and a girl. The local lore about the sunlight pilgrims of the novel’s title tells of a race who drink light to live through the darkest times. But Fagan does not use metaphor as poetic immunity for her characters or her readers. The novel leaves them — and us — in a deeply troubling and unresolved moment. The world looks like a place of our darkest imagination, but it is all too real.”
- Leah Hager Cohen, Strangers and Cousins: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2019): “As in a Shakespearean comedy, disparate relationships will find a way to be resolved, and familial love, at least, will prevail. It’s wise Aunt Glad, in her own life’s twilight, whose words provide the novel’s ultimate plea for acceptance, of others and of ourselves: ‘We must always try to embrace reality.’”
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Boccherini, Piano Quintets: the fortepiano, an intermediary step between the harpsichord and the modern piano, couples with the bowed strings with some difficulty, which sounds a bit like an uneasy truce.
- Hector Berlioz, Beatrice et Benedict: a young man and young woman are simultaneously drawn to and repelled by each other. They declare their “love” for each other, then declare a mutual truce. Hector Berlioz, Beatrice et Benedict: a young man and young woman are simultaneously drawn to and repelled by each other. They declare their “love” for each other, then declare a mutual truce. (Performances are conducted by Rhorer, Davis and Nelson.)
- Schubert, Piano Sonata No. 5 in B flat major, D 557
- Schubert, Piano Sonata No. 6 in D major, D 566
- Holst, Beni Mora (Oriental Suite), Op. 29, No. 1, H 107: audience members hissed and booed when they heard themes from Arabic culture.
- Harbach, Civil Civility for Chamber Orchestra with Soprano, Flute, Violin and Piano