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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

This essay highlights the continued diversification of the United States and the potential for conflict that goes along with it. Teitelbaum looks at three primary theoretical models that deal with religious diversity. She rejects the first two, exclusivism and inclusivism, because the first often leads to violent conflict and the second to condescension. Instead, Teitelbaum argues that pluralism is the most hopeful and considerate method. In order to make this point, she clarifies that pluralism is not syncretism, a process of blending all religions into one. Nor is it relativism, which lets go of particular beliefs in order to find universal peace. Instead, she defines pluralism as an approach in which individuals can maintain their own beliefs, but are also open to encountering and learning about the beliefs of others. This, Teitelbaum posits, is the best way to find peace and respect in diverse communities.

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