Making Room for Tolerance

World peace: is it possible given the world's diversity of faiths and the conviction of their believers? Maybe—if those believers can practice some kind of tolerance of those who differ in their beliefs, as well as in their customs and appearances, said many who gathered in the United Brethren's Church Room on September 29.

Professors James West (right) and Arash Naraghi (left) participated in a forum on religious freedom and tolerance. Photos by Eddie Flaherty

An interdisciplinary panel—Professors Dana Dunn (social psychology), Arash Naraghi (religion and philosophy), and James West (economics)—discussed "Religious Freedom and the Roots of Intolerance" from a variety of perspectives, then invited the room of interested attendees to join the discussion. Jason Radine, assistant professor of religion, moderated.

Several suggested that all faiths could be linked through their common belief in a God that cannot be fully comprehended. By acknowledging that there are "many different approaches, many different understandings" of the same God, "we can make room for one sort of tolerance," said Arash Naraghi, assistant professor of religion and philosophy.

Many also agreed that more discussion between the faiths is essential. But perhaps that discussion should be less about "what is truth" and more about what promotes tolerance and justice, suggested President Thomforde.

The Snak-n-Yak Forum was sponsored by the Multi-Faith Council and chaplain's office.