By Alfred Stepan, Charles Taylor
Edited by means of Alfred Stepan and Charles Taylor
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Extra info for Boundaries of toleration
I would prefer them to come from this, from the process of debate and argument and the kind of thing for which this institute has been set up. Actually, the first thing you accept in that situation is that there are no answers. There isn’t an answer; there is only the debate. The debate itself is the thing from which flows the ethical life. So that is what I would say, and that is what I think. But when I’m writing, something weird happens, and the result is these books, which clearly do contain a large amount of what you would call supernaturalism.
Salman, your novels team with stories within stories that get at different levels of religious experience, and you often turn to myth, miracles, and magic to reflect on that experience. Let me begin by asking a simple question, not about religion and the imagination, the title of this session, but about religion as imagination. If, as could be argued, conceptualizing an unseen power inherently involves human imaginings of the divine, what does the literary imagination add? Or what work does it do that is different from the religious imagination?
Or do you think a reasonable distance can be maintained? What you said in that earlier conversation was that what you were trying to do in depicting the early history of Islam was turned into your heretical pronouncement, and you were trying to emphasize that distinction. ” It ought to be possible to say that, neutrally, without seeming to be on one side or another. Clearly, what happened in the case of The Satanic Verses was that there was an assumption that I was on one side rather than the other and that, therefore, my meaning should be found in the hostility rather than in the defense.