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Exclusivism is the practice of being exclusive; mentality characterized by the disregard for opinions and ideas other than one's own, or the practice of organizing entities into groups by excluding those entities which possess certain traits. (for an opposite example, see essentialism).

Religious exclusivism[edit]

Main articles: Chosen people and One true faith

Religious exclusivism asserts that one religion is true and that all others are in error.

It has two forms:

  • Absolute exclusivism asserts that one must be born into the religion to be a true adherent. Historical examples are the religion of Athens during the golden age
  • Relative exclusivism asserts that conversion is mandatory. Christianity and Islam are some such examples. Cf Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

In Ancient Greece[edit]

The Decree of Diopithes (430 BCE) forbade the worship of and belief in gods other than those of the Olympian pantheon recognised by the Athenian polis. The introduction of other gods was treated as asebeia, or impiety, and was punishable by death. The philosophers Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Socrates, Stilpo, Theodorus of Cyrene, Aristotle, and Theophrastus were accused of impiety under this decree. Socrates was found guilty of the charge of introducing new gods and condemned to death by drinking hemlock.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Selucid ruler of Israel, decided to Hellenize the Jews by ordering the worship of Zeus; when they refused, Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree.

According to Herodotus the Caunians, a Greek people who claimed to have originated in Crete and settled in Asia Minor, worshiped the Olympian Gods exclusively. "They determined that they would no longer make use of the foreign temples which had been established among them, but would worship their own old ancestral Gods alone. Then their whole youth took arms, and striking the air with their spears, marched to the Calyndic frontier, declaring that they were driving out the foreign Gods."

Plato, in his Laws, advocates that the state should punish those who deny the existence of the Olympian Gods or believe that the gods exist but think they are indifferent to mankind or can be easily bought by bribes.

Interpretatio graeca, the common tendency of ancient Greek writers to identify foreign divinities with members of their own pantheon, can be seen as a kind of exclusivism. The syncretism of the Hellenistic period whereby aspects of the cults of foreign Gods such as iconography and epithets, can also be seen as a kind of exclusivism.

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141 news items

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:22:30 -0700

But Obama has also declared, correctly, that there can't be a U.S. military solution for Iraq's problems until its political problems -- above all, its central government's tendency toward exclusivism -- have been addressed. This is where Iran, which ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:56:15 -0700

If the modern multicultural world is to be understood, then the world's religions must be understood, and the only way forward for those who are enlightened, and who are seeking the way of peace, is to reject religious exclusivism wherever it appears ...
Great Falls Tribune
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:06:43 -0700

The first is exclusivism, which sees everyone who is different as being wrong. The second stage is inclusivism, in which we respect the differences, but still cling to our own as normative. The third is pluralism, genuinely accepting the other for what ...
Billings Gazette
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Diana Eck, a native of Bozeman teaching at Harvard, wrote a book titled "Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras". In it she describes a range of attitudes towards “the other.” The first is exclusivism, a closed position which ...
Middle East Eye
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

The Israeli wrath inflicted on the Palestinians of Gaza, two-thirds of whom are refugees, entitled to the right of return, comes within an ideological context of tribal bigotry, racism, and exclusivism. In 2004, Israeli Professor Arnon Soffer, Head of ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:36:47 -0700

its Jewish exclusivism and do justice by the Palestinians. Resistance to Israel is taking many forms, from an armed defensive struggle in Gaza to non-violent anti-Apartheid Wall protests on the West Bank to a growing boycott, divestment and sanctions ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:22:30 -0700

The radicalism, violence, exclusivism present in the Koran does not justify the IS cruelty, but they are a fertile ground for violence to flourish. The time has come to rethink Islam for the modern man, to distinguish between state and religion ...

Rising Kashmir

Rising Kashmir
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:45:00 -0700

Macabre actions like James Foley's beheading and suicide bombing are a specialization of recent Sunni Jehadism. The two can be alternately stoked against the American infidel in Iraq and the Shia exclusivism of Baghdad. Now the US, Baghdad and Iran ...

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