"The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the ...
"The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while J?rgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of "the political" in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-01-10 At a public event at Cooper Union in New York in 2009, four pre-eminent contemporary philosophers asked one simple question: what is the role of religion in society? This little book collects abbreviated versions of those talks as well as dialogues between some of the scholars. Habermas, whose early writings famously excluded discussion of religion from the public square, concludes that religious perspectives and practices continue to be key sources of values that nourish a multicultural citizenship. Taylor argues for a need to balance freedom of conscience with equality of respect that recognizes diversity of religious belief. Butler contends that the public sphere is precisely where both religious and secular individuals "jointly face the risk of dispossession, vulnerability, and injurability." In the liveliest essay of all, West-a jazz man in the world of ideas--powerfully proclaims that religious perspectives provide moral visions, compasses to track human misery and despair, and power to confront prevailing powers. This mundane collection asks an already tired question as the jargon-filled responses of the philosophers ("intellectual interventions," "modalities," "injurability") attempt to raise the clarity of the simple to the mystery of the complex. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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