Tolerance, Education and Hospitality: A Theological Proposal

Studies in Christian Ethics 17 (1):80-103 (2004)
This article gives a critique of the notion of tolerance and the promotion of tolerance in education as a means of fostering respect for the ‘other’. In its place the theologically specified notion of hospitality is proposed. In the process of doing this, the article addresses three questions: is there an inherent contradiction between liberal philosophies of education and the promotion of tolerance? Is tolerance the best way to enable genuine respect for the ‘other’? And is tolerance something Christians should promote? To address these question, first, definitions of tolerance are assessed; second, the relationship between tolerance and autonomy is analysed; third, an account of how hospitality is conceived within the Christian tradition is set out; and lastly, hospitality and tolerance are contrasted in theory and practice. The article ends by drawing some conclusions for the practice of education
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