In David Thunder (ed.), The Ethics of Citizenship in the 21st century. Springer. pp. 127-144 (2017)

Paolo Monti
University of Milan Bicocca
The ethical features of citizenship in democratic societies have been explored from several perspectives. This account is based on the analysis of our condition as co-practitioners in civil society and aims to address the public role of religions and to include multiple forms of citizenship. Under conditions of pluralism, one’s involvement in cooperative practices is shaped and unsettled by the presence of co-practitioners who carry different self-understandings about the relationship between their beliefs and their social agency. Social cooperation is threatened when these self-understandings come into conflict. The notion of postsecularism provides a valuable clue for better understanding this kind of conflict, thanks to its focus on how the self-understanding of religious and secular actors is affected by their co-implication in the same public space. Within this framework, I suggest that a reflective consideration of the practical cooperative relationships that ordinarily characterize our agency as actors of civil society may adequately ground a normative ethics of citizenship. This reflective awareness affects the self-understanding of both religious and secular citizens, and normatively points towards a disposition to cooperatively re-arrange and re-formulate one’s own beliefs and arguments in the light of the structural co-implication of one’s own belief with the beliefs of others. The basic duties of citizenship emerge from the implications of participating in a body of social practices that extends to different communities of practice at a local, national and global level. This ethics of citizenship is therefore not bound to membership in a specific political entity.
Keywords Ethics of Citizenship  Religion and Politics  Postsecularism  Social Practices  Citizenship
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