Fostering Tolerance with Prof. Philip Buckley

May 23, 2023

Contributor: Kante Hamed | Editor: Dadi Darmadi

The Faculty of Islamic Studies at the Indonesian International Islamic University hosted a guest lecture on May 15, 2023, by Prof. Philip Buckley from McGill University, Canada. The lecture focused on "Tolerance and Multiculturalism" and took place in the teleconference room. Its objective was to explore the significance of tolerance, dialogue, and multiculturalism in fostering peaceful coexistence in diverse societies.

Prof. Buckley commenced his presentation with a philosophical reflection on dialogue, posing questions about meaningful conversations and distinguishing "good" from "bad" dialogues. He eloquently remarked, "Language sets us apart as human beings, and conversing with others is natural to us."

One key insight shared by Prof. Buckley was tolerance as an orientation towards the different. He clarified that tolerance is an interplay between "difference" and "identity," where differences become the foundation for engaging in dialogue. This perspective portrayed tolerance as an ongoing dialogue that promotes understanding and appreciation of diversity.

According to Prof. Buckley, "weak tolerance" accepts the presence of others based on constitutional norms, while "strong tolerance" recognizes that diverse perspectives contribute to the richness of society. He introduced engaged tolerance, emphasizing the importance of understanding differences for harmonious coexistence.

During the lecture, Prof. Buckley discussed the significance of text and translation in understanding cultures, exemplifying challenges in translating religious texts and maintaining their integrity. This sparked discussions on translation in interfaith dialogues.

During the Q&A session, Prof. Buckley addressed questions on the relationship between tolerance and intolerance, preserving cultural identity, and accepting diversity. He stressed the need to balance cultural preservation with accepting differences for societal progress.

The event demonstrated the institution's commitment to promoting tolerance and multiculturalism. Prof. Buckley's lecture showcased the potential of Indonesian Islamic studies in shaping an inclusive society. By emphasizing dialogue, understanding, and active engagement with differences, the lecture inspired hope for a future that values diverse perspectives.

The presentation stimulated discussions on dialogue, tolerance, and multiculturalism. Prof. Buckley's insightful observations left a lasting impression, encouraging further contemplation. The occasion highlighted Indonesian Islamic studies' capacity to contribute to a more inclusive future while demonstrating the university's dedication to promoting tolerance and multiculturalism. []