The Ethics of Evangelism

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-04-01
  • Publisher: Ivp Academic
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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.

Author Biography

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

Prefacep. ix
Some Introductory Considerations
Introductionp. 3
Definitionsp. 8
Academic objections to proselytizingp. 17
Objectives and approachp. 20
Significance of this studyp. 23
Foundational Issuesp. 26
Religious impulse to proselytizep. 27
Why the growing controversy over proselytizing?p. 34
Some examples of immoral proselytizingp. 37
Ethical foundationsp. 43
Consensus and relativismp. 46
Objections to Proselytizing
Epistemological/Ethical Objections to Proselytizingp. 53
Persuasionp. 55
Arrogancep. 59
Truth and religious pluralismp. 62
Rationality and certaintyp. 71
Proselytizing and the Integrity/Freedom of Individuals and Societiesp. 77
Problems of question-beggingp. 80
Physical coercion and the problem of vaguenessp. 84
Psychological coercionp. 88
Inducements to convertp. 91
Coercion and informed consentp. 94
Missionary colonialismp. 96
Liberal Objections to Proselytizingp. 104
Intolerancep. 105
Consequences of proselytizingp. 114
Questionable motivationsp. 118
Proselytizing and universalizationp. 124
Proselytizing and pluralismp. 126
Conclusionp. 128
A Positive Approach to Proselytizing
A Defence of Proselytizingp. 133
John Stuart Mill's argumentp. 134
Contemporary liberalismp. 135
Etiquette vs. ethicsp. 138
Dignity of the proselytizerp. 142
Dignity of the proselytizeep. 146
Epistemologico-ethical considerationsp. 147
Conclusionp. 152
Distinguishing Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizing
Criteria to Evaluate Proselytizing: Part Ip. 157
Dignity criterionp. 161
Care criterionp. 165
Physical coercion criterionp. 167
Psychological coercion criterionp. 169
Social coercion criterionp. 176
Inducement criterionp. 181
Criteria to Evaluate Proselytizing: Part IIp. 184
Rationality criterionp. 184
Truthfulness criterionp. 188
Humility criterionp. 196
Tolerance criterionp. 198
Motivation criterionp. 200
Identity criterionp. 201
Cultural sensitivity criterionp. 204
Results criterionp. 205
Golden Rulep. 208
Conclusionp. 211
Come Concluding Considerationsp. 215
Religious dialogue vs. proselytizingp. 216
Encouraging ethical proselytizing: Resources within proselytizing religionsp. 219
Social reinforcementp. 223
Legal reinforcementp. 226
Religious freedomp. 230
Summary of 15 Criteria to Distinguish Between Ethical and Unethical Proselytizingp. 234
Literature Review on the Ethics of Proselytizing and Related Fieldsp. 238
Bibliographyp. 154
Author/Name Indexp. 275
Subject Indexp. 280
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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