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Why do religious people attempt to persuade others of their beliefs? What are the current objections to the religious practice of proselytizing? Is proselytizing an ethically defensible practice? Are there kinds of proselytizing activities that are ethically questionable?Elmer John Thiessen responds to questions like these in an effort to provide a philosophical defense of proselytization, or religious persuasion, as an ethical practice. Thiessen examines and refutes current cultural and academic objections to religious proselytizing and offers a thorough ethics of evangelism.
Elmer John Thiessen is research professor of education at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto, Canada. Thiessen is the author of Teaching for Commitment and In Defence of Religious Schools and Colleges and has published numerous articles in professional and scholarly journals.
Table of Contents
|Some Introductory Considerations|
|Academic objections to proselytizing||p. 17|
|Objectives and approach||p. 20|
|Significance of this study||p. 23|
|Foundational Issues||p. 26|
|Religious impulse to proselytize||p. 27|
|Why the growing controversy over proselytizing?||p. 34|
|Some examples of immoral proselytizing||p. 37|
|Ethical foundations||p. 43|
|Consensus and relativism||p. 46|
|Objections to Proselytizing|
|Epistemological/Ethical Objections to Proselytizing||p. 53|
|Truth and religious pluralism||p. 62|
|Rationality and certainty||p. 71|
|Proselytizing and the Integrity/Freedom of Individuals and Societies||p. 77|
|Problems of question-begging||p. 80|
|Physical coercion and the problem of vagueness||p. 84|
|Psychological coercion||p. 88|
|Inducements to convert||p. 91|
|Coercion and informed consent||p. 94|
|Missionary colonialism||p. 96|
|Liberal Objections to Proselytizing||p. 104|
|Consequences of proselytizing||p. 114|
|Questionable motivations||p. 118|
|Proselytizing and universalization||p. 124|
|Proselytizing and pluralism||p. 126|
|A Positive Approach to Proselytizing|
|A Defence of Proselytizing||p. 133|
|John Stuart Mill's argument||p. 134|
|Contemporary liberalism||p. 135|
|Etiquette vs. ethics||p. 138|
|Dignity of the proselytizer||p. 142|
|Dignity of the proselytizee||p. 146|
|Epistemologico-ethical considerations||p. 147|
|Distinguishing Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizing|
|Criteria to Evaluate Proselytizing: Part I||p. 157|
|Dignity criterion||p. 161|
|Care criterion||p. 165|
|Physical coercion criterion||p. 167|
|Psychological coercion criterion||p. 169|
|Social coercion criterion||p. 176|
|Inducement criterion||p. 181|
|Criteria to Evaluate Proselytizing: Part II||p. 184|
|Rationality criterion||p. 184|
|Truthfulness criterion||p. 188|
|Humility criterion||p. 196|
|Tolerance criterion||p. 198|
|Motivation criterion||p. 200|
|Identity criterion||p. 201|
|Cultural sensitivity criterion||p. 204|
|Results criterion||p. 205|
|Golden Rule||p. 208|
|Come Concluding Considerations||p. 215|
|Religious dialogue vs. proselytizing||p. 216|
|Encouraging ethical proselytizing: Resources within proselytizing religions||p. 219|
|Social reinforcement||p. 223|
|Legal reinforcement||p. 226|
|Religious freedom||p. 230|
|Summary of 15 Criteria to Distinguish Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizing||p. 234|
|Literature Review on the Ethics of Proselytizing and Related Fields||p. 238|
|Author/Name Index||p. 275|
|Subject Index||p. 280|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|