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What does tolerance actually mean? Discussing the new book by Germany’s former Federal President Joachim Gauck

Joachim Gauck Toleranz einfach schwer

Who said summer reads have to be easy-peasy books with a romantic story set somewhere in Provence or Capri? In my belief, we should use those long summer days for actual useful reads, instead! May you spend those hot days at some beach resort, in the colder alps or just at a staycation at home, books are always a must. Who even wants to stare into a display all day, especially now in summer? A rather unusual summer reads recommendation is the following book: Tolerance: simply difficult by former Federal President Joachim Gauck. It’s in German only, but maybe you are able to read and understand German, and might find this book tip helpful?

Mr Gauck discusses all topics, and issues, on tolerance in his newest book. The book by Joachim Gauck primarily addresses the following questions: What holds us together? What does society have to do, what must and what should individuals tolerate, and what are the limits of tolerance?
The lifestyles, values, religious and cultural backgrounds of the people are becoming more and more diverse – for some an enrichment, for many a burden. How much difference does one have to endure? How much can you endure? How much criticism can you face? What common rules must apply in spite of all differences?
An excerpt of the book is available for free directly from the publisher: media.herder.de/leseprobe/

In his new book, Joachim Gauck argues for tolerance because it enables the peaceful coexistence of different people in the first place. Tolerance, he writes, is not indifference and not conciliation. Tolerance rather teaches us to tolerate, to endure, to respect what we do not or not fully endorse. Also, so Gauck, it is necessary to be sure of his own identity. Because only, who knows who he is, confidently enters into a dialogue or even compete with others. Tolerance should not be unlimited. Only if we defend ourselves against the attacks of intolerants – wherever they come from – can tolerance and democracy be secured.

For more Info on the book, I have already published a blog post on my German-language Blog here: Buch über Toleranz, und Toleranz leben von Bundespräsident a.D. Joachim Gauck – Buch Empfehlung Sommer 2019


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