Religion and Democratic Citizenship: Inquiry and Conviction in the American Public Square

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Religion and Democratic Citizenship critically examines a variety of proposals to address the question of whether and how religion should influence the activities of the American public square, from public deliberation to voting. These proposals commonly fall into two broad types of familiar strategies. On the one hand, mainstream liberal political theorists like John Rawls and others seek to keep religion and politics largely separate. On the other hand, pragmatists like William James, John Dewey, and Cornel West seek to reinterpret the meaning of religion itself so that it can be rendered compatible with democracy. Religion and Democratic Citizenship outlines the shortcomings of both of these strategies and aims to reframe the nature of the debate concerning the proper relationship between religion and politics by offering a useful framework for further discussion. Drawing influence from both Socrates and C. S. Peirce, J. Caleb Clanton proposes a model of the deliberative democracy designed to accommodate as many democratically predisposed citizens as possible, whether they are religious or not. In so doing, this book ultimately offers a strategy to accommodate religious participation in the activities of the democratic public square-a strategy that enables citizens to employ religious reasoning and meet the epistemic obligations of good deliberative democratic citizenship. Readers of this book will include researchers interested in philosophy, political science, law, sociology, and theology, as well as teachers, students, politicians, clergy, and concerned citizens.

About the Author:
J. Caleb Clanton is assistant professor of philosophy at Pepperdine University

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Editorial Reviews

Cheryl Misak
Clanton has provided us with very nice arguments against liberalism's attempt at keeping public reason neutral and for allowing (fallible) religious beliefs into the sphere of public deliberation. His anti-Rawlsian view draws on the pragmatist tradition, developing a view of public inquiry on which we aim at getting things right and hence must be committed to exchanging reasons. The book will be of real interest to both those working in political theory and in American pragmatism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739120804
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 11/29/2007
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Caleb Clanton is assistant professor of philosophy at Pepperdine University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Tension in Our American Public Philosophy     1
William James and That Old-Time Religion: The Jamesian Roots of the Reconstructivist Strategy     15
Questionable Neo-Pragmatic Proposals Concerning Religion's Role in the Public Square     39
Silence and Neutrality: Liberalism's Public Reason     63
Liberalism's Hidden Garments: A Multidimensional Response to the Naked Public Square     85
Public Deliberation After Rawls: Stout's Contribution and Instructive Shortcoming     107
Speculations on an Open Socratic-Peircean Public Square     123
Conclusion     149
Bibliography     151
Index     159
About the Author     163
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