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A God of One's Own: Religion's Capacity for Peace and Potential for Violence

Beck, Ulrich; Translated by Rodney Livingstone

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ISBN 10: 0745646182 / ISBN 13: 9780745646183
Published by Polity Press, 2010
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Gunn Books (Wooster, OH, U.S.A.)

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Hardcover binding is clean and tight. The interior and text are clean and unmarked with no signs of previous ownership. NOT ex-lib. A clean, tight copy; appears unused. With bibliography and index. x, 231pp. Bookseller Inventory # 007014

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A God of One's Own: Religion's Capacity for ...

Publisher: Polity Press

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: None issued

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Religion posits one characteristic as an absolute: faith. Comparedto faith, all other social distinctions and sources of conflict areinsignificant. The New Testament says: ‘We are all equal inthe sight of God'. To be sure, this equality applies only to thosewho acknowledge God's existence. What this means is that alongsidethe abolition of class and nation within the community ofbelievers, religion introduces a new fundamental distinction intothe world the distinction between the right kind of believers andthe wrong kind. Thus overtly or tacitly, religion brings with itthe demonization of believers in other faiths.

The central question that will decide the continued existence ofhumanity is this: How can we conceive of a type of inter-religioustolerance in which loving one's neighbor does not imply war to thedeath, a type of tolerance whose goal is not truth but peace?

Is what we are experiencing at present a regression ofmonotheistic religion to a polytheism of the religious spirit underthe heading of ‘a God of one's own'? In Western societies,where the autonomy of the individual has been internalized,individual human beings tend to feel increasingly at liberty totell themselves little faith stories that fit their own lives toappoint ‘Gods of their own'. However, this God of
their own is no longer the one and only God who presides oversalvation by seizing control of history and empowering hisfollowers to be intolerant and use naked force.

From the Back Cover:

A life of one's own, a room of one's own, a God of one's own: in the context of Western modernity, where the ethic of individual self-fulfilment has become a powerful current, religious faith, where it exists, has been channeled through the prism of one's own life, experience and self-knowledge. The individual uses religious experiences to construct his or her own religious shelter, making decisions about faith rather than simply deferring to the institutionalized religions into which he or she was born. But faith - whether individualized or expressed within the framework of institutionalized religion - opens up a chasm between believers and non-believers and casts doubt on the ability of the religions to bring about peace. Today, argues Beck, our world has a chance of surviving only if the many faiths succeed in civilizing themselves and committing themselves to the principle of mutual tolerance.

Hence the central question that will decide the continued existence of humanity: How can we conceive of a type of inter-religious tolerance in which loving one's neighbour does not imply war to the death, a type of tolerance whose goal is not truth but peace?

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