This essay uses the term tolerance conceptualized by UNESCO in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance (1995) to analyze the Buddhist notion of tolerance and give some examples of Indian and Vietnamese Buddhism. In ancient India, Buddha had used Pali terms: Karuna, Dana, and Metta with the same meaning of tolerance. They were constructed systematically on the religious-philosophical and ethical foundations of Buddhism. Under King Asoka’s reign (3rd BC) Buddhist tolerance was successfully applied to unite a vast Indian empire (a multi-religious country) and control it in peace. Buddhism was introduced into Vietnam in different times and by different ways. Vietnam is also a multi-race and multi-religious country. However, the But-Buddhism and Phât-Buddhism of the Vietnamese were adapted and acculturated from Indian and Chinese Buddhism. Thanks to the spirit of tolerance, the Vietnamese have applied it well in resolving political, cultural, and religious problems not only in war time, but also in peace time. Now, in the global context, tolerance is considered the most suitable paradigm for perceiving each other by approaching the other without preconceptions and avoiding the dissolution of each other’s character and identity. Hence, tolerance is the key to coexistence through the recognition of difference and alterity.


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pp. 29-53
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