Timothy J. Keller, Andrew Delbanco, Mark Lilla, Dale Hanson Bourke

Columbia University 2008

Religious differences continue to be sources of social division and violence around the world, and it is often argued that claims to exclusive religious truth exacerbate these tensions. As a result,there is understandable anxiety about the role of religion in public life, and our society attempts to inculcate the values of respect, tolerance, and pluralism. But what are the limits of these ideals, and how do they play out in practice? Is it possible to show respect for individuals while rigorously examining the foundations and implications of their beliefs? More broadly, do the ideals of pluralism and tolerance provide a sufficiently substantive set of principles around which a society can unite? This panel will attempt to identify the fault lines of religion and pluralism, and consider how best to address them.

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