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Suffering as Ground for Religious Tolerance

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An Attempt to Broaden Panikkar’s Insight on Religious Pluralism

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Religions often offered themselves as answers to suffering. Not infrequently the adherents of a certain religion consider the answer of their own religion to suffering to be the best, as it is based on one’s truth-claim. Recently in South-East Asia, this kind of truth-claim can be detected also in the phenomena of ‘commodification of religions’ done by various groups within Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, thus causing rivalry and intolerance. It was Paul Knitter who first describes global suffering, or ‘the pain of the world’ as religious challenge for all religions. In Indonesia, the recent social and natural disasters can be interpreted as a challenge to the established tolerance nurtured by the state ideology Pancasila, which does not question truth-claims. Panikkar’s view on religious pluralism is accepted, but only after broadening its horizon of rationality to include the people’s experience of disasters, to enable a new vision of religious tolerance.

Affiliations: 1: Duta Wacana Christian University YogyakartaIndonesia


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