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Document Details :
Title: Religious Conviction and Tolerance
Subtitle: Fragmentary Reflections on the History of Christianity
Author(s): LAI, Pan-chiu
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Date: 2007
Through analyzing and reflecting on the history of Christianity, especially the Roman persecution of Christianity and the Christian involvement in the establishment of religious tolerance in the modern world, this paper argues that there is no irreconcilable contradiction between religious conviction and tolerance. Although Christianity can be very intolerant, it has its own spiritual resources for cultivating a tolerant attitude towards people of other religions. It is possible for a devout Christian to accept and even to promote religious tolerance. By and large, this paper further suggests, polytheists, monotheists and atheists are all capable of being intolerant towards followers of other religions. The most decisive factor influencing a religion’s attitude towards other religions is not the number of its god(s) but if it has power over others and how it uses that power.