Monday, January 07, 2013

Rainer Forst's "Toleration in Conflict" (now in English)

Toleration in Conflict
Past and Present

by Rainer Forst

(Cambridge University Press, January 2013)

528 pages



The concept of toleration plays a central role in pluralistic societies. It designates a stance which permits conflicts over beliefs and practices to persist while at the same time defusing them, because it is based on reasons for coexistence in conflict – that is, in continuing dissension. A critical examination of the concept makes clear, however, that its content and evaluation are profoundly contested matters and thus that the concept itself stands in conflict. For some, toleration was and is an expression of mutual respect in spite of far-reaching differences, for others, a condescending, potentially repressive attitude and practice. Rainer Forst analyses these conflicts by reconstructing the philosophical and political discourse of toleration since antiquity. He demonstrates the diversity of the justifications and practices of toleration from the Stoics and early Christians to the present day and develops a systematic theory which he tests in discussions of contemporary conflicts over toleration.


Introduction [pdf]

Part I. Between Power and Morality: The Historical Discourse of Toleration

1. Toleration: Concept and Conceptions
2. More Than a Prehistory: Antiquity and the Middle Age
3. Reconciliation, Schism, Peace: Humanism and the Reformation
4. Toleration and Sovereignty: Political and Individual
5. Natural Law, Toleration and Revolution
6. The Enlightenment – For and Against Toleration
7. Toleration in the Modern Era
8. Routes to Toleration

Part II. A Theory of Toleration:

9. The Justification of Toleration
10. The Finitude of Reason
11. The Virtue of Tolerance
12. The Tolerant Society.

The book was published in Germany in 2003: "Toleranz im Konflikt - Geschichte, Gehalt und Gegenwart eines umstrittenen Begriffs" (Suhrkamp Verlag).

Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University in Frankfurt, and director of the research cluster on the “Formation of Normative Orders.” He is the author of "Contexts of Justice" (California University Press, 2002), "The Right to Justification. Elements of a Constructivist Theory of Justice" (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Forthcoming in 2013:
* "Justification and Critique: Towards a Critical Theory of Politics" (Polity Press)
* "Justice, Democracy and the Right to Justification: Rainer Forst in Dialogue" (Bloomsbury Academic)

See also by Rainer Forst:
* "Two Stories on Tolerance" (paper, 2010)
* "The Power of Tolerance" (video, 2008).
* "Pierre Bayle's Reflexive Theory of Toleration" (paper, 2009)
* "Tolerance Is a Fine Art" (interview, 2010)
* "Tolerance" (entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2012)
* "Tolerance and Democracy" (video, lecture 2012)

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