Why are religious tolerance and pluralism so difficult to achieve? Why is the often violent fundamentalist backlash against them so potent? Robert Erlewine looks to a new religion of reason for answers to these questions. Drawing on Enlightenment writers Moses Mendelssohn, Immanuel Kant, and Hermann Cohen, who placed Christianity and Judaism in tension with tolerance and pluralism, Erlewine finds a way to break the impasse, soften hostilities, and establish equal relationships with the Other. Erlewine's recovery of a religion of reason stands in contrast both to secularist critics of religion who reject religion for the sake of reason and to contemporary religious conservatives who eschew reason for the sake of religion. Monotheism and Tolerance suggests a way to deal with the intractable problem of religiously motivated and justified violence.
Robert Erlewine is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University.