SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

In the Name of God: The Role of Religion in the Modern World; A History of Judeo-Christian and Islamic Tolerance

Pegasus. Jun. 2020. 480p. ISBN 9781643135076. $29.95. REL
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Documentary film producer O’Grady (And Man Created God) proposes that religious tolerance and intolerance are related rather than opposite human reactions, as both respond to ideas that one finds bothersome or threatening. To this, the author adds that religion and politics are inextricably linked, and no monotheistic religion brooks rivals. These themes drive this sweeping history of monotheistic religion on individual and group behavior, particularly as it relates to Christians and Muslims, and their treatment of Jews, from the first century CE to the mid-20th century. O’Grady argues that minority or disenfranchised religious groups are tolerated by the religious majority, seen as inferiors to the extent that they are considered useful. Should these groups be seen as menacing, or some social crisis occur, intolerance and persecution set in. This slide from tolerance to intolerance and back can be seen with both Christians and Muslims, contends the author.
VERDICT A worthwhile read for secular liberals wishing to advocate for mutual respect and open-mindedness among various religious groups.

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