From Diversity to Pluralism

FromDiversity to Pluralism

FromDiversity to Pluralism

1.Offera summary of the article. What are the main points Eck makes? Whatare your members’ thoughts on these ideas?

Inthe article, Eck tries to differentiate pluralism from diversity.Most often, people confuse diversity with pluralism. Whereasdiversity is the ability to accept that we are different and we havedifferent beliefs and traditions, it does not amount to pluralism.Pluralism according to Eck is the engagement that establishes acommon society from all the diversity. Pluralism is not abouttolerance, it is the acknowledgement and understanding thedifferences between the diversities. Tolerance is important part ofpluralism, but on its own leads to ignorance of others (Eck, n.d).With tolerance one continues to hold stereotypes of others and halftruths about other religions or cultures.

Pluralismentails engaging people of varying faiths and traditions in thecreation of a common society. Pluralism according to Eck is notrelativism it is rather creating room for real and differentreligious commitments (Eck, n.d). It is the process of establishing asociety through vital and self critical relations with each other,acknowledging and not hiding our inherent differences.

Inessence, pluralism is not given, but is achieved. People must workhard to achieve pluralism. For example as American people, we havediversity and we acknowledge it, however, we have not been able toincorporate this diversity into a peaceful society. As Eck portraysin his article, Christianity as a dominant religion have been a greatobstacle to pluralism. He gives an example of a Florida based pastorwho threatened to mark the 10thanniversary of 9/11 by burning a Quran (Eck, n.d). This shows howpluralism has not been achieved, despite people living in diversifiedsociety.

2.Whatis religious pluralism? How would you define? Please research atleast 3 ideas on this. It may be helpful to find some definitions andresearch the history of the phenomenon and then offer your own ideason the question of what constitutes religious pluralism.

Religiouspluralism is the belief in more than one religious worldviews asbeing equally acceptable or valid. Religious pluralism is not merelyadmitting that there are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, orPagans in the society. It is sitting down with each other at thetable and develops an understanding. For example the formation ofinterfaith institutions embracing religious diversity andunderstanding each other’s faith is the way forward for religiouspluralism (Chaves &amp Gorski, 2001).

Religiouspluralism is more than tolerance, and is used in contrast toexclusivism religious pluralism accepts that there are many paths toGod or gods.

Inour group, we believe religious pluralism is the perception that eachand every religion is right and valid. There is no superior orinferior deity and as such all religions deserve equal treatment andrespect one another. They should work together to enhance peace inthe society rather than division.

3.Whatare at least 3 examples – either historic or contemporary – ofreligious intolerance? You may discuss examples in the U.S. orinternationally. You may also find examples of this in your ownexperiences.

Religiousintolerance is intolerance against the religion or practices ofothers. There have been instances of religious intolerance throughouthistory. One example is intolerance between Muslims and Christiansover the years. This has fueled animosity and terrorism. The warbetween Israel and Palestine is as a result of religious intolerance(Chaves &amp Gorski, 2001).

Anotherexample is the case a recent case in Sudan, where a Muslim womanmarried a man of Christian faith and was jailed facing execution.

InNigeria, Boko Haram an Islamic group reins terror on the Christianminority in the country. The abduction of more than 200 innocentgirls is a clear indication of the extent of religious intolerance inthe country.

4.Whoare some religious leaders or examples of religious communities thathave been advocates for peace and religious tolerance? Please find atleast 3 examples. These may be historic or contemporary examples andagain, your group members may have ideas about individuals they haveencountered in their own lives who have been engaged in this type ofwork.

Thereare several religious leaders who have been advocates for peace andreligious tolerance. One of these leaders is the Pope of the Catholicfaith. Pope Francis in his recent comment during Vatican III declaredall religions to be true. He has always been in the frontline forpeace and religious tolerance.

DalaiLama the Tibet leader argues that with the increasing interaction inthe world, there is a need to know that all religions are true inorder to have peace. He talks of his interaction with Trappist monkThomas Merton in India back in 1968 who told him that he could beperfectly faithful to Christianity and still learn in depth fromother faiths.

Muslimleaders in Pakistan, Bahrain, United Kingdom, Iran and India earlythis year called for religious tolerance and coexistence with Baha’isfollowing a senior Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Tehrani commentregarding the security of this minority religion of Baha’is (Baha’iWorld News Service, 2014). Essentially, most of religious leaders inthe world call for religious tolerance in promoting peace in theworld.

5.Whatis the best way to achieve a peaceful and pluralistic society? Pleaseinclude input and specific recommendations or programs.

Toachieve a peaceful and pluralistic society, the foundation must bebuilt from the very basis of the society the family. In a family,children should be able to be given the liberty to follow the faiththat they perceive fulfilling to them. The education curriculum mustinclude all forms of religious studies so that children canappreciate and understand the existing diversity. This will enhancepeaceful consistence.

Thebuilding of interfaith institutions in the society includinghospitals, schools, shopping malls, parks, places of worship build inthe same ground as exhibited in Silver Spring, Maryland where aVietnamese Catholic church, a Ukrainian Orthodox church, a CambodianBuddhist temple a Hispanic First Church of God, a Muslim CommunityCenter and a Hindu temple is a sure way to create a peaceful andsociety.


Baha’iWorld News Service (2014 May) Muslim leaders embrace AyatollahTehrani`s call for religious coexistence. Retrieved (Accessed October 10, 2014).

Chaves,M., &amp Gorski, P. S. (2001). Religious pluralism and religiousparticipation. Annualreview of sociology,261-281.

Eck,D. (n.d ). FromDiversity to Pluralism.The Pluralism Project: Harvard University.