Rice University Department of Religion

The Social is Spiritual: Beyond the Critique of Tolerance, April 27, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lecture/Lecture Series

Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance

Philip Wexler

Humanities Building

The relation between social science and religion is turned upside down. Religion is not simply the object of the social scientific gaze, but an equal discourse of social explanation and practice. I take Jewish spirituality as an example and show how it can work as social ideas and solutions to social problems. “Tolerance” has been criticized for being too abstract, “pure” and that it needs to be contextualized in society. We start there, and suggest that the critics also have a limited understanding of the social. We can use concepts from Jewish spirituality to extend the meaning of the social and to rethink tolerance.