Disagreement is inevitable, particularly in our current context, marked by the close coexistence of conflicting values and perspectives in politics, religion, and ethics. How can we deal with disagreement ethically and constructively in our pluralistic world?
In Disagreeing Virtuously Olli-Pekka Vainio presents a valuable interdisciplinary approach to that question, drawing on insights from intellectual history, the cognitive sciences, philosophy of religion, and virtue theory. After mapping the current discussion on disagreement among various disciplines, Vainio offers fresh ways to understand the complicated nature of human disagreement and recommends ways to manage our interpersonal and intercommunal conflicts in ethically sustainable ways.
Olli-Pekka Vainio is university lecturer of systematic theology at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Kelly James Clark
Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Grand Valley State University
"This book expertly provides the science, philosophy, and theology behind our natural but lamentable tendencies to overestimate our own beliefs and intellect and then to think that those who disagree with us aren't just wrong; they are irrational, immoral, even crazy. Olli-Pekka Vainio offers sage advice for cultivating intellectual humility, on the one hand, and respect for others and their varying beliefs and practices, on the other. It's hard to imagine, in our deeply divided world, a more timely topic."
author of Commonwealth and Covenant
"A splendid study of one of the most pressing topics in these fractious timeshow to disagree better. With great talent, Olli-Pekka Vainio develops the philosophy and psychology of disagreement and guides us in how to disagree more productivelymaking Disagreeing Virtuously a must-read for pastors, politicians, journalists, and teachers. An important and much-needed achievement."
Center for Pastoral Excellence, Christian Theological Seminary
"Vainio marshals the best insights of virtue theory, cognitive science, and religious studies to make the case that the practice of virtuous disagreement can enhance our shared humanity across worldviews. This text is simply the most clearly argued and intellectually generous treatment of this topic that I have encountered. It will be of crucial interest to scholars of religion and violence as well as anyone seeking insights into better ways of moving forward in our increasingly fragmented societies."