Towards the Postsecular : Rawls and the Limits of Secular Public Reason

In Constellations of Value : European Perspectives on the Intersections of Religion, Politics and Society. LIT. pp. 109-120 (2013)
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Abstract

The article argues that frequently-voiced critiques of Rawls’s political liberalism have been misguided, because the ignore the extent to which Rawls takes his inspiration from a particular historical experience, namely that of the USA. The article suggests that a better model to accommodate the European historical experience would be a ‘symbolic’ presence of religion in public political argument: In a situation of world-view pluralism, politicians are well advised to show how the values and coercive laws they promote can be derived from within one or a number of) particular religious traditions. Such attempts will be particularly valuable where they are symbolic, in the sense that they are undertaken by politicians who do not themselves belong to the religious tradition(s) in question.

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Christoph Jedan
University of Groningen

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