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Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith
     

Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith

by Francis J. Beckwith
 

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Taking Rites Seriously is about how religious beliefs and religious believers are assessed by judges and legal scholars and are sometimes mischaracterized and misunderstood by those who are critical of the influence of religion in politics or in the formation of law. Covering three general topics - reason and motive, dignity and personhood, nature and sex -

Overview

Taking Rites Seriously is about how religious beliefs and religious believers are assessed by judges and legal scholars and are sometimes mischaracterized and misunderstood by those who are critical of the influence of religion in politics or in the formation of law. Covering three general topics - reason and motive, dignity and personhood, nature and sex - philosopher and legal theorist Francis J. Beckwith carefully addresses several contentious legal and cultural questions over which religious and non-religious citizens often disagree: the rationality of religious belief, religiously motivated legislation, human dignity in bioethics, abortion and embryonic stem cell research, reproductive rights and religious liberty, evolutionary theory, and the nature of marriage. In the process, he responds to some well-known critics of public faith - including Brian Leiter, Steven Pinker, Suzanna Sherry, Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, and Richard Dawkins - as well as to some religiously conservative critics of secularism such as the advocates for intelligent design

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Beckwith's legal perspective and clarity make this short survey of the role of religious reasoning in American jurisprudence a valuable contribution to the defense of religion's place in public life."
Elliot Milco, First Things

"In Taking Rites Seriously, Francis Beckwith clears away many of the misunderstandings of religion that have marred discussions of faith and public life and corrupted the constitutional law of church and state. Of course, there are some academics and activists who are so deeply in the grip of secularist ideology that they have no desire to learn. Most Americans, however, whether they are believers or secularists, would like to be better informed about religion. For them, this book is a gift."
Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

"Sophisticated, learned, and committed, Francis Beckwith argues coolly for a reasoned faith even as he smites the Philistines hip and thigh on behalf of human life and dignity."
Lenn E. Goodman, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Vanderbilt University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107533059
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/12/2015
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
218,429
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.51(d)

Meet the Author

Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy and Co-Director (with Trent Dougherty) of the Program in Philosophical Studies of Religion. He has held visiting faculty appointments at Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame and has published extensively on social ethics, applied ethics, legal philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. Named the 2007 Person of the Year by Inside the Vatican magazine, his most recent books include Politics for Christians: Statecraft As Soulcraft (2010) and Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice (2007).

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