Religion in the Liberal Polity

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Religion in the Liberal Polity

Publisher: University of Notre Dame PressFormat: Paperback

How should a religious person view the role of rights in the liberal polity? What should the role of religion be in public political discourse? Some prominent scholars have recently argued that religious persons ought to view the concept of a “right” as alien to a traditionally religious way of life. Others have suggested that there is no legitimate place for religious reasoning in public political discourse. Contributors to Religion in the Liberal Polity reject these positions by defending the claims that the concept of a “right” is central to traditional religion and that religious concerns belong in public political discourse. Part one of the collection addresses foundational issues of rights and authority. Nicholas Wolterstorff contends not only that rights exist, but that moral duties are determined by rights. Timothy P. Jackson raises the issue of how thinking about the imago dei may ground human rights issues for a Christian. John Hare explores whether there is an evolutionary account of natural right and justice capable of sustaining a liberal democracy.Paul Weithman contends that individuals who have rights are simultaneously protected and liberated by the possession of those rights. Terence Cuneo offers a justification for the provision and protection of religious civil liberties from the perspective of natural law theory. Mark Murphy considers the nature of the demands that the state can make on individual agents. Part two explores religious reasons and virtuous conduct in the liberal polity. Essays by Jeffrey Stout, Christopher Eberle, Richard Mouw, and Kent Greenwalt all consider whether religious reasons should be employed in public political discourse. Merold Westphal's concluding essay focuses on the political virtue of shame in both the liberal tradition and the history of philosophy generally. Religion in the Liberal Polity will appeal to a wide range of students and scholars in philosophy, political science, theology, and law.

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