The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age

by Martha C. Nussbaum
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674065905

ISBN-13: 9780674065901

Pub. Date: 04/24/2012

Publisher: Harvard

What impulse prompted some newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists, until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland, a country of four minarets, vote to ban those structures? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan ignite a fevered political debate across

Overview

What impulse prompted some newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists, until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland, a country of four minarets, vote to ban those structures? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan ignite a fevered political debate across the United States? In The New Religious Intolerance, Martha C. Nussbaum surveys such developments and identifies the fear behind these reactions. Drawing inspiration from philosophy, history, and literature, she suggests a route past this limiting response and toward a more equitable, imaginative, and free society.

Fear, Nussbaum writes, is "more narcissistic than other emotions." Legitimate anxieties become distorted and displaced, driving laws and policies biased against those different from us. Overcoming intolerance requires consistent application of universal principles of respect for conscience. Just as important, it requires greater understanding. Nussbaum challenges us to embrace freedom of religious observance for all, extending to others what we demand for ourselves. She encourages us to expand our capacity for empathetic imagination by cultivating our curiosity, seeking friendship across religious lines, and establishing a consistent ethic of decency and civility. With this greater understanding and respect, Nussbaum argues, we can rise above the politics of fear and toward a more open and inclusive future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674065901
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
881,197
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Religion: A Time of Anxiety and Suspicion 1

2 Fear: A Narcissistic Emotion 20

3 First Principles: Equal Respect for Conscience 59

4 The Mote in My Brother's Eye: Impartiality and the Examined Life 98

5 Inner Eyes: Respect and the Sympathetic Imagination 139

6 The Case of Park51 188

7 Overcoming the Politics of Fear 240

Notes 247

Index 269

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