Religious Pluralism and Bhakti Theology Through the Lens of Chaitanya Vaishnavism

How to Cite

Graham M. Schweig. (2022). Religious Pluralism and Bhakti Theology Through the Lens of Chaitanya Vaishnavism: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 19(1), 163–192. Retrieved from


Much of the contemporary world seeks what is often called “religious tolerance.” This state of tolerance is often considered to be a great achievement. At one level it is certainly an achievement if what we mean by “religious tolerance” is the ability to “tolerate” other traditions rather than needing to see them destroyed. On the other hand, when one tolerates something, one can still feel uncomfortable with or experience a dislike for the thing tolerated, all the while somehow finding ways to restrain oneself from a negative or destructive relationship with it. The goal, it seems, is to allow for a peaceful co-existence between religious traditions and to move them away from an antogonism that easily gets to the point of destructiveness. Thus religious tolerance plays a role in a socio-political arena rather than a theological one. A state of acceptance, a movement in the direction of inclusivism, in which one acknowledges the existence of other traditions without the tacit negativity implied by tolerance, would be a step higher.

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