NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1098440
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
The Dutch Dilemma & American Divide: The Challenge of Exclusivist Religions to Pluralistic States, and Contemporary Education
Parr, Christopher
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2006 n1 Fall 2006
Post-Reformation societies and states that thought they had put religious wars behind them have been caught unawares by the vehemence of religious dissent that has exploded in their midst, sometimes literally, since the 1970s. I maintain that key Enlightenment propositions that established the means for peaceful religious co-existence seriously misconstrue and underestimate the social potency of religious impulses. My paper begins by sketching two distinct current impasses. The Dutch face the dilemma of a largely secularized society willing to be highly tolerant of difference--but as the brazen 2004 murder of provocateur-filmmaker Theo van Gogh has revealed, such tolerance is hard-pressed to accommodate those whose religious culture is not permitted to tolerate perceived intolerance directed at them. The United States presents an equally puzzling conundrum: a much more religious culture predicated on religious liberty, now challenged by versions of monotheism whose symbolic worldview convinces them they are persecuted, and must demand cultural supremacy. Highly dualistic, exclusivist and triumphalist versions of monotheism present militant challenges to the democratic state's ideals of tolerance. Taking these recent examples as symptomatic, I argue we must reconfigure civil post-secular societies' engagements with religious adherents, not least through actively educating all citizens about religions.
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A