„If the Multiplicity of Religions prejudices the State, it proceeds from their not bearing with one another but on the contrary endeavouring each to crush and destroy the other by methods of Persecution. In a word, all the Mischief arises not from Toleration, but from the want of it.“
Quoted in: Joseph LoConte, "The Golden Rule of Toleration" http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/thepastinthepresent/historymatters/goldenrule.html, Christianity Today, Accessed 6 March 2011
„Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word "indefinable" with the word "vague."“
— G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens
If some one speaks of a spiritual fact as "indefinable" we promptly picture something misty, a cloud with indeterminate edges. But this is an error even in commonplace logic. The thing that cannot be defined is the first thing; the primary fact. It is our arms and legs, our pots and pans, that are indefinable. The indefinable is the indisputable. The man next door is indefinable, because he is too actual to be defined. And there are some to whom spiritual things have the same fierce and practical proximity; some to whom God is too actual to be defined.
Ch 1 : "The Dickens Period"
Charles Dickens (1906)
„Temples have been desecrated, places of worship are destroyed, all in the prejudice view that one religion is the true one and others are not.“
— Epeli Ganilau Fijian politician 1951
80th birthday celebration of Satya Sai Baba, Lautoka, 23 November 2005
„If people but knew their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and how free from any grudge against the religion of others.“
— Hazrat Inayat Khan Indian Sufi 1882 - 1927
Quelle: The Bowl of Saki: Thoughts for Daily Contemplation from the Sayings and Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
„Is it not proven beyond all dispute that there is no limit to the enormities which men will commit when they are once persuaded that they are keepers of other men's consciences? To spread religion by any means, and to crush heresy by all means is the practical inference from the doctrine that one man may control another's religion. Given the duty of a state to foster some one form of faith, and by the sure inductions of our nature slowly but certainly persecution will occur. To prevent for ever the possibility of Papists roasting Protestants, Anglicans hanging Romish priests, and Puritans flogging Quakers, let every form of state-churchism be utterly abolished, and the remembrance of the long curse which it has cast upon the world be blotted out for ever.“
— Charles Spurgeon British preacher, author, pastor and evangelist 1834 - 1892
The Inquisition, 1868 The Sword and the Trowel http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/inq.htm
— Edward O. Wilson American biologist 1929
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998)
Kontext: True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others. It is not obedience to authority, and while it is often consistent with and reinforced by religious belief, it is not piety.
„From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides.“
— Tenzin Gyatso spiritual leader of Tibet 1935
"The Nobel Evening Address" p. 115.
Kontext: Buddhism does not accept a theory of God, or a creator. According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.
„Tolerance gives us spiritual insight, which is as far from fanaticism as the north pole is from the south. True knowledge of religion breaks down the barriers between faith and faith and gives rise to tolerance. Cultivation of tolerance for other faiths will impart to us a truer understanding of our own.“
— Махатма Ганди pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948
Young India, (Bulletin), 2-10-1930, p. 2 In: My God (1962), Chapter 13. Pathways of God http://www.mkgandhi.org/god/mygod/pathwaystogod.html, Printed and Published by: Jitendra T. Desai, Navajivan Mudranalaya, Ahemadabad-380014 India
Posthumous publications (1950s and later)
Kontext: All faiths are a gift of God, but partake of human imperfection, as they pass through the medium of humanity. God-given religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Whose interpretation must be held to be the right one? Every one is right from his own standpoint, but it is not impossible that every one is wrong. Hence the necessity for tolerance, which does not mean indifference towards one’s own faith, but a more intelligent and purer love for it. Tolerance gives us spiritual insight, which is as far from fanaticism as the north pole is from the south. True knowledge of religion breaks down the barriers between faith and faith and gives rise to tolerance. Cultivation of tolerance for other faiths will impart to us a truer understanding of our own.
„Persecution, like a lion, tears the saints to death, but leaves Christianity pure: state establishment of religion, like a bear, hugs the saints, but corrupts Christianity,“
— John Leland (Baptist) American Baptist minister 1754 - 1841
The Government of Christ a Christocracy (1804)
Kontext: The fondness of magistrates to foster Christianity, has done it more harm than all the persecutions ever did. Persecution, like a lion, tears the saints to death, but leaves Christianity pure: state establishment of religion, like a bear, hugs the saints, but corrupts Christianity, and reduces it to a level with state policy. (p. 278)
„The reason for the existence of a religion, from one point of view at least, is to be found precisely in those things wherein it differs from other religions.“
— Frithjof Schuon, buch The Transcendent Unity of Religions
The Transcendent Unity of Religions (1953; revised edition 1984)
„You should never revile people who are satisfied with their own religion… Listen you disciples of Christ! I, solicitous of your own welfare, tell you this truthfully… Diminution of Hari’s religion, anger, cruelty, subversion of authority and dissensions among the populace would result from reviling the religion of others. Increase of God’s religion, contentment, gentleness, harmony between the ranks would result from praising all religions. For each person his own religion is best; the same religion would be perilous for another person.“
— John Muir (indologist) Scottish Sanskrit scholar and Indologist 1810 - 1882
Subaji Bapu, MataparIkshAsikshA, from his reply to John Muirs Matapariksha, Cited by R.F. Young and quoted from Goel, S. R. (2016). History of Hindu-Christian encounters, AD 304 to 1996. Chapter 10. ISBN 9788185990354 https://web.archive.org/web/20120501043412/http://voiceofdharma.org/books/hhce/
About John Muirs Matapariksha
„With respect to what are called denominations of religion, if every one is left to judge of its own religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is wrong; but if they are to judge of each other's religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is right; and therefore all the world is right, or all the world is wrong. But with respect to religion itself, without regard to names, and as directing itself from the universal family of mankind to the Divine object of all adoration, it is man bringing to his Maker the fruits of his heart; and though those fruits may differ from each other like the fruits of the earth, the grateful tribute of every one is accepted.“
— Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen
Part 1.3 Rights of Man
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
„Philosophy and religion are enemies, and because they are enemies they have need of one another. There is no religion without some philosophical basis, no philosophy without roots in religion. … the attacks which are directed against religion from a presumed scientific or philosophical point of view are merely attacks from another but opposing religious point of view.“
— Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), VI : In the Depths of the Abyss
„On examination, I have found [Hinduism] to be the most tolerant of all religions known to me. Its freedom from dogma makes a forcible appeal to me in as much as it gives the votary the largest scope for self-expression. Not being an exclusive religion, it enables the followers of the faith not merely to respect all the other religions, but it also enables them to admire and assimilate whatever may be good in the other faiths. Non-violence is common to all religions, but it has found the highest expression and application in Hinduism. (I do not regard Jainism or Buddhism as separate from Hinduism.) Hinduism believes in the oneness not of merely all human life but in the oneness of all that lives.“
— Махатма Ганди pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948
October 1927. The Collected Works, Volume 35, New Delhi, 1968, pp. 166-67. As quoted in Goel, S.R. History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)
„I believe in revelation, but not in revelation which each religion claims to possess… but in the living revelation which surrounds us on every side — mighty, eternal, unceasing, incorruptible, clear, distinct, universal as is the being from whom it proceeds, in that revelation which speaks to us and penetrates us from the moment we are born until we die.“
— José Rizal Filipino writer, ophthalmologist, polyglot and nationalist 1861 - 1896
Letter to Fr. Pastells (4 April 1893)
— Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Letter to Mrs. Harrison Smith (6 August 1816)
Kontext: It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me. But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They must have a positive, a declared assent to all their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest.
„The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught.“
— Hazrat Inayat Khan Indian Sufi 1882 - 1927
Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi.
Kontext: The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught. This truth can be traced in all religions, whether one community calls another pagan or infidel or heathen. Such persons claim that theirs is the only scripture, and their place of worship the only abode of God. Sufism is a name applied to a certain philosophy by those who do not accept the philosophy; hence it cannot really be described as a religion; it contains a religion but is not itself a religion. Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality.
„Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
1940s, Science and Religion (1941)
Kontext: Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist, I must nevertheless qualify this assertion once again on an essential point, with reference to the actual content of historical religions. This qualification has to do with the concept of God. During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.
„This atmosphere of the Spirit-World, this creating and combining element, is Light—this originally: Warmth, if it do not again exhale, but bear within itself an element of duration, is but the first manifestation of this Light. In the Darkness of mere earthly vision, all things stand divided from each other; each individual thing isolated by means of the cold and unillumined Matter in which it is embraced. But in this Darkness there is no Unity. The Light of Religion arises!—and all things burst forth and rush towards each other in reciprocal order and dependence, and float on together, as a united Whole, in the One, Eternal, and All-embracing flood of Light. This Light is mild, silent, refreshing and wholesome to the eye. In the Twilight of mere Earthly vision the dim shapes which crowd in confusion around us are feared, and therefore hated. In the Light of Religion all things are pleasing, and shed around them calmness and peace. In it all unlovely shapes disappear, and all things float in the glowing Ether of Love.“
— Johann Gottlieb Fichte German philosopher 1762 - 1814
Quelle: The Characteristics of the Present Age (1806), p. 268