Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Book on Rawls and Religion

Rawls and Religion

Ed. by Tom Bailey & Valentina Gentile

(Columbia University Press, 2015)

312 pages


John Rawls's influential theory of justice and public reason has often been thought to exclude religion from politics, out of fear of its illiberal and destabilizing potentials. It has therefore been criticized by defenders of religion for marginalizing and alienating the wealth of religious sensibilities, voices, and demands now present in contemporary liberal societies.
In this anthology, established scholars of Rawls and the philosophy of religion reexamine and rearticulate the central tenets of Rawls's theory to show they in fact offer sophisticated resources for accommodating and responding to religions in liberal political life. The chapters reassert the subtlety, openness, and flexibility of his sense of liberal "respect" and "consensus," revealing their inclusive implications for religious citizens. They also explore the means he proposes for accommodating nonliberal religions in liberal politics, developing his conception of "public reason" into a novel account of the possibilities for rational engagement between liberal and religious ideas. And they reevaluate Rawls's liberalism from the "transcendent" perspectives of religions themselves, critically considering its normative and political value, as well as its own "religious" character. Rawls and Religion makes a unique and important contribution to contemporary debates over liberalism and its response to the proliferation of religions in contemporary political life.

Contents [preview]

Foreword - Sebastiano Maffettone

Introduction [preview] - Tom Bailey & Valentina Gentile

Part I. Reinterpreting Rawls on Religion

1. Respect and War [paper] - Christopher J. Eberle
2. Religion and Liberalism: Was Rawls Right After All? - Robert B. Talisse
3. Inclusivism, Stability, and Assurance - Paul Weithman
4. Rethinking the Public Use of Religious Reasons [paper] - Andrew F. March

Part II. Accommodating Religions with Rawls

5. The Liberal State and the Religious Citizen - Patrick Neal
6. Reasoning from Conjecture - Micah Schwartzman
7. The Religious Hermeneutics of Public Reasoning - Johannes A. van der Ven

Part III. Transcending Rawls

8. E Pluribus Unum: Justification and Redemption in Rawls, Cohen, and Habermas - James Gledhill
9. A Reasonable Faith? Pope Benedict's Response to Rawls [paper] - Peter Jonkers
10. Islamic Politics and the Neutral State: A Friendly Amendment to Rawls? - Abdullahi A. An-Na'im

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