Theologian slams the tolerant Dutch'

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands is the world leader in dismantling religion and religious values. Nowhere else, is the ‘de-institutionalising’ of religion going quicker, according to Dutch theologian Marcel Poorthuis.

He is giving his inaugural lecture on Wednesday as professor of inter-religious dialogue at the University of Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands. His area of teaching is new for the Netherlands and is drawn from what he describes as “current events”.

Intolerant Dutch? “People are abandoning the certainty of the church but, at the same time, their views of people, for example Muslims, who have a different mindset are becoming increasingly fundamentalist. Dialogue between religions is necessary to keep the world a bearable place to live in.”

Dr Poorthuis is critical of ‘the tolerant Dutch’. “That is an empty idea,” he argues. “We believe we should have the freedom to express anything even if it offends other people. That can lead to gross intolerance, not only towards other people’s religion, but also towards human integrity.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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