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Reason, Faith, and Politics: Essays in Honor of Werner J. Dannhauser
     

Reason, Faith, and Politics: Essays in Honor of Werner J. Dannhauser

by Arthur M. Melzer (Editor), Robert P. Kraynak (Editor), Alan Arkush (Contribution by), Walter Berns (Contribution by), Francis Fukuyama (Contribution by)
 

Behind many of the hottest political issues of the current moment —abortion, stem-cell research, Intelligent Design, Islamic fundamentalism—stands a resurgence of the centuries-old contest between religion and the Enlightenment. In such circumstances, a volume of essays honoring the thought of Werner J. Dannhauser is particularly timely. An expert on

Overview

Behind many of the hottest political issues of the current moment —abortion, stem-cell research, Intelligent Design, Islamic fundamentalism—stands a resurgence of the centuries-old contest between religion and the Enlightenment. In such circumstances, a volume of essays honoring the thought of Werner J. Dannhauser is particularly timely. An expert on Nietzsche and Jewish political thought, Dannhauser's abiding concern was the issue of "reason, faith, and politics." Does secular rationalism, as promoted by the Enlightenment, provide an adequate basis for moral and political life? Or does the modern state ultimately require religious habits and beliefs even while tending to undermine them? Is the emergence of the religious right, then, a necessary and salutary phenomenon? Or does it pose dangers to our liberal constitution and to minority religious communities, such as Jews and Muslims? In short, is Enlightenment rationalism helpful or harmful to social life? And is Biblical religion necessary for or in tension with American liberal democracy? Questions such as these, which have concerned Dannhauser throughout a long scholarly career, have recently reemerged as front-page issues. In addressing this theme, the eleven essays comprising the present volume—by such scholars as Francis Fukuyama, Walter Berns, Jeremy Rabkin, and Ralph Lerner—range widely over Western intellectual history, from classical philosophy and ancient Israel, to the Medieval period and the Renaissance, to Nietzsche, and to contemporary neoconservative thought.

Editorial Reviews

Clifford Orwin
Werner Dannhauser is a remarkable teacher, and has received the fitting tribute of a remarkable collection of essays by his students and colleagues. Dannhauser once remarked of the late Leo Strauss that his greatest accomplishment as a teacher was to enable his students to become themselves, and on the evidence of this collection Strauss succeeded in transmitting that capacity to Dannhauser himself. These essays range widely over subjects both philosophical and political, Jewish and non-Jewish, Nietzschean and non-Nietzschean, American and European or Israeli. What they share in common is that each is a labor of love, each addresses a fundamental question, and each represents a distinguished scholar at his or her best.
Nathan Tarcov
The essays in Reason, Faith, and Politics are thoughtful and learned explorations of rationalism, religion, and political life before and after Nietzsche, a fitting tribute to the work and teaching of Werner Dannhauser.
Thomas L. Pangle
A rich, wide-ranging, and yet well-focused collection of essays, which reflects and does honor to the breadth and depth of Werner Dannhauser's uniquely insightful and fertile reflections on the political dialectic of reason and faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739118351
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
02/15/2008
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
6.49(w) x 9.35(h) x 0.86(d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Melzer is professor of political science at Michigan State University. Robert Kraynak is professor of political science at Colgate University.

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