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Synopsis

Toleration on Trial offers the only multidisciplinary study available on the issue of toleration, bringing together political psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, Islamic scholars, and political theorists to examine the most pressing debates in the field. The volume addresses the toleration question from a number of angles: toleration and its application to gay rights; Islam and toleration; institutional, ideological, and psychological preconditions for its practice; and philosophical and conceptual arguments for the principle of toleration.

The common thread running throughout the volume is the core question: Is toleration primarily a product of institutional arrangements, or is it an attitude of individuals? To answer this adequately, the authors believe that a contemporary analysis of the possibility, significance and requirements of toleration must be fully cognizant of the democratic, or more accurately—politically mobilized—background in which toleration becomes a difficult issue. Conflicts between deeply divided groups within nations and between groups across political boundaries pose the issue of threat and risk to a practice or way of life that many peoples find difficult to accept.

Can the idea and practice of toleration manage these in politically and ethically defensible ways? These essays address various aspects of the aim to establish or strengthen toleration among politically mobilized groups, in a context of contemporary democratic challenges.

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