Prothero and Tolerance
The notion that all religions are in essence one seduces us into thinking that we can send 160,000 troops into Iraq without reckoning with the fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam or, for that matter, between Sunnis and Shias. It prevents us from seeing the role that religions plan in many of the world’s hotspots: from Israel and the Palestinian territories to Nigeria and Kashmir. Equally importantly, it prevents us from seeing and appreciating the unique beauty of each of these religions. If I am a Christian and all religions are essentially the same, what do I have to learn from reading the Daodejing or from attending a Hindu wedding?
The bottom line? Tolerance is an empty virtue if you don’t even understand what you are tolerating. In God is Not One, I try to present as best as I can my own understanding of the world’s most influential religions. (Emphasis mine.)
Happy reading! I'll add another book to my burgeoning summer reading list, and coming soon, our readers' suggestions from summer reading.