Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State

Overview

Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendly toward religion. This book articulates principles that enable secular governments to protect liberty in a way that judiciously separates church and state and fully respects religious ...

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Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State

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Overview

Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendly toward religion. This book articulates principles that enable secular governments to protect liberty in a way that judiciously separates church and state and fully respects religious citizens.

After presenting a brief account of the relation between religion and ethics, the book shows how ethics can be independent of religion-evidentially autonomous in a way that makes moral knowledge possible for secular citizens—without denying religious sources a moral authority of their own. With this account in view, it portrays a church-state separation that requires governments not only to avoid religious establishment but also to maintain religious neutrality. The book shows how religious neutrality is related to such issues as teaching evolutionary biology in public schools, the legitimacy of vouchers to fund private schooling, and governmental support of "faith-based initiatives." The final chapter shows how the proposed theory of religion and politics incorporates toleration and forgiveness as elements in flourishing democracies. Tolerance and forgiveness are described; their role in democratic citizenship is clarified; and in this light a conception of civic virtue is proposed.

Overall, the book advances the theory of liberal democracy, clarifies the relation between religion and ethics, provides distinctive principles governing religion in politics, and provides a theory of toleration for pluralistic societies. It frames institutional principles to guide governmental policy toward religion; it articulates citizenship standards for political conduct by individuals; it examines the case for affirming these two kinds of standards on the basis of what, historically, has been called natural reason; and it defends an account of toleration that enhances the practical application of the ethical framework both in individual nations and in the international realm.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book summarizes, in 155 small pages of text, arguments [Audi] has been developing for more than 20 years. It is engagingly written and easy to read, with the analytic clarity that is Audi's great strength This is an important book, because it is the latest statement of a widely held position by one of the leading writers in the field."— Andrew Koppelman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Robert Audi makes a very important and timely contribution to political philosophy and especially to the rising debates over the proper place for religiously based ideas in the political sphere."—Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199371563
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 995,872
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Audi is an internationally distinguished contributor to ethics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of action. He has published numerous books and papers in all these fields and lectures widely in these areas and, more recently, in business ethics. He is a past president of the American Philosophical Association and the subject of a critical volume containing thirteen critical essays and his responses.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. The Autonomy of Ethics and the Moral Authority of Religion
I. The Autonomy of Ethics
II. Moral Knowledge: General and Particular
III. Religion, Theology, and Ethics
IV. Theoethical Equilibrium: The Integration of Religion and Ethics
V. Divine Command Ethics and Secular Morality

2. The Liberty of Citizens and the Responsibilities of Government
I. The Separation of Church and State and the Limits of Democratic Authority
II. The Liberty Principle and the Scope of Religious Freedom
III. The Equality Principle and the Case Against Establishment
IV. The Neutrality Principle: Accommodationist Secularity
V. Religious Neutrality, Valuational Neutrality, and Public Policy

3. The Secular State and the Religious Citizen
I. Freedom of Expression in the Advocacy of Laws and Public Policies
II. Major Principles Governing the Advocacy of Laws and Public Policies
III. The Charge of Exclusivism toward Religious Reasons
IV. Natural Reason, Secularity, and Religious Convictions
V. Religious Reasons, Political Decision, and Toleration
VI. Privatization Versus Activism: The Place of Religious Considerations in Public Political Discourse

4. Democratic Tolerance and Religious Obligation in a Globalized World
I. The Nature of Tolerance
II. Is Tolerance a Virtue?
III. Toleration and Forgiveness
IV. The Normative Standards for Democratic Toleration
V. Religion in the Workplace as a Test Case for a Theory of Toleration
VI, Cosmopolitanism as a Framework for Tolerance
VII. Civic Virtue and Democratic Participation
VIII. International Implications of the Framework

Conclusion
Notes
Index

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