Religion and Public Reason: A Comparison of the Positions of John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas and Paul Ricoeur

Religion and Public Reason: A Comparison of the Positions of John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas and Paul Ricoeur

by Maureen Junker-Kenny


View All Available Formats & Editions
Use Standard Shipping. For guaranteed delivery by December 24, use Express or Expedited Shipping.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783110487961
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Series: Praktische Theologie im Wissenschaftsdiskurs Series , #16
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Maureen Junker-Kenny, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

1 Public reason as a neutral mediator in pluralist democracies in John Rawls's political philosophy 5

1.1 The normative framework and its two methods of justification 5

1.1.1 justice as founded by contract and as found in reflected cultural standards 6

1.1.2 Assessments of the contract foundation: The circularity of the device of the "original position" 8 Onora O'Neill: A metaphorical contract between idealized parties 9 Otfried Höffe: A ruse of rational egotists 13 Paul Ricoeur: Oscillating between disinterest and mutuality 14 Between philosophical and empirical concepts 17

1.1.3 Beyond a constructed procedure: Convictions formed in religious and cultural history in "reflective equilibrium" with principles 19

1.1.4 The completion of a contextual foundation in Political Liberalism 22

1.2 "Idea of the good" and "sense of justice" as elements of moral personhood in Theory of Justice 23

1.2.1 Rationality as a good and its realization in a life plan 24

1.2.2 Comparison and critique of Rawls's concept of the good of self-respect 27

1.2.3 "The sense of justice" 31

1.2.4 The "sense of justice" compared with principled autonomy in Kant 33

1.2.5 Natural contingency and self-respect 36

1.3 Society as a cooperative venture for mutual advantage 38

1.3.1 From a system of benefits and burdens to a "social union of social unions" 39

1.3.2 Withdrawing from metaphysical assumptions: Classical republicanism versus civic humanism 41

1.3.3 Lack of "natural assets" as grounds for intervention? 44

1.3.4 Sources and significance of plurality in Theory of Justice and in Political Liberalism 46 Plurality in contract, associations, and primary goods 46 Setting the stage for the task of public reason: Philosophies as "comprehensive doctrines" in Political Liberalism 48

1.4 Democratic life and public reason 50

1.4.1 The search for a neutral ground between irreconcilable worldviews 52 Public reason converting comprehensive into political conceptions of justice 53 The paradox: Civility as abstention 55 The dual motivation of the overlapping consensus: comprehensive and civic 57

1.4.2 The spheres of democratic life 64 The composition of the background culture 64 Religious contributions to nonpublic reason? 66

1.5 "Public reason" and practical reason: Critiques from a Kantian perspective 6B

1.5.1 Distinct starting points: "Public reason" between theory of law and morality 68

1.5.2 An alternative guiding principle for the constitutional order: Human dignity 70

1.5.3 The Law of Peoples: Transnational scope for human rights and justice? 71 Human rights, urgent and universal, versus constitutional and contextual 72 Justice - bounded or transnational? 78

1.5.4 The public and the private use of practical reason 81

1.6 Religion in the limits of Rawls's concept of public reason 84

1.6.1 A philosophical approach to God: Kant's "highest good" and the antinomy of practical reason 85

1.6.2 A proviso and translations in due course - how attractive for religions? 89

6.2.1 Addressing the hermeneutical deficit of procedural theories of justice: Christian sources of identity formation (Elke Mack) 89 Self-restriction by religions on what basis? (Stefan Grotefeld) 95

1.6.3 The sources of public reason - free-standing, or indebted to a history of formation? 99

Introduction to Parts Two and Three 102

2 Practical reason in the public sphere: Jurgen Habermas's rehabilitation of religion as a resource within the project of modernity 103

2.1 The normative framework: The foundations of discourse ethics 104

2.1.1 The basis of communicative rationality: Reason as embodied in language 105

2.1.2 The competence of philosophy 106 Constructivist and reconstructive elements in discourse ethics 107 Philosophy as "stand in" and "interpreter" 109

2.1.3 Postmetaphysical thinking reconfirmed 113

2.2 An anthropology of the lifeworld 116

2.2.1 The interactive constitution of self-consciousness 118

2.2.2 Pragmatic reconstruction of normative implications, or moral recognition of the other? 121

2.2.3 Between a reservoir of shared meanings and postconventional morality: the role of the lifeworld 125

2.2.4 Religion after the abysses of reason 130

2.3 The public use of reason in the democratic public sphere 132

2.3.1 The moral core of public reason 133

2.3.2 Public reason as generated in the practical discourse of citizens 136

2.3.3 The basis of justification: Moral, ethical, or civic? 137

2.3.4 From religion lo public reason: Habermas's comments on continuities in Rawls's thinking from its theological origins 142 Human individuality in response to God and as normative in the construction of just social structures 142 Anchoring the right in a personal view of truth 147

2.4 Religion as a resource for the project of modernity 150

2.4.1 The persistence of religion and the task of reconstructing the genealogy of human reflection in religions and philosophies 151 From the secularization thesis to the consciousness of a post-secular constellation 151 The shared origins of religions and philosophical reason in the axial period 153 The distinction between the two axial formations of reflection: Comparing Jaspers and his interpretation by Habermas 154

2.4.2 The heuristic and semantic potential of religions in the pathologies of rationalization 160 The ongoing intellectual potential of religious traditions for self-understandings formed in the lifeworld 160 The origin of "the political" in the encounter between religious and secular self-understandings 164 Postsecular society or postsecular state? 167

2.4.3 Theological critiques: Religion in the limits of postmetaphysical reason 175 The means of translation 176 The specific difference of religion 177 The limits of translatability 181

3 Religions as co-foundation at of the public space in Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutical philosophy 184

3.1 The normative framework: A phenomenology of desiring, capable and fallible human beings 166

3-1.1 Theory of action based on "desire and effort to exist" 187

3.1.2 Self-understanding as a result of appropriation 188

3.1.3 Symbols and conflicts of interpretation 190

3.1.4 Cultural uniqueness, Utopia and ideology 192 Particularity versus homogenization and historicist relativism 193 Between foundational hopes and strategies of legitimation: Utopia and ideology 195 Tradition and emancipation: Ricoeur's comments on Habermas's critique of Gadamer 197

3.1.5 A hermeneutics of the self as idem and ipse, and as self and other 199

3.1.6 Insights from Ricoeur's philosophical anthropology as a framework for ethics 200

3.2 The self and its agency: Three types of ethical reflection 202

3.2.1 A phenomenological reconstruction of the three dimensions of ethics 202 The wish lo "live well, with and for others, In just institutions" 204 The deontological level as the "sieve of the norm" 206 "Practical wisdom" as a "heartfelt conviction" 208 The wish for a reconciled memory and the status of forgiveness in a theory of agency 210

3.2.2 Differences to Rawls and Habermas in the outline of ethics 214 Questions to Rawls 214 Questions to Habermas 218

3.2.3 Conclusions from perspectives on ethics 221

3.3 Co-founding the public space: Types of authority, legitimation, and citizens' convictions 222

3.3.1 Democracy between foundational myths and self-authorization 223 The narrative model: Myths of foundation, potestas and auctoritas 224 The model of self-authorization 227 The model of recognizing heterogeneous traditions as co-foundational 228

3.3.2 Domination and obedience, or initiatives in plural spheres of negotiation? 231 Pluralizing the category of Herrschaft in Max Weber's theory of social action 232 Explicit and implicit theory decisions in Weber's approach 234 Enunciative and institutional authority 240

3.4 Religion and agency: Fallibility, hope, and translation 247

3.4.1 Fallibility and freedom in religious experience and in philosophical reflection 249

3.4.2 A dialectic that gives a place to hope: Kant's concept of the "highest good" 253 Reason as structurally oriented towards completion 254 The endpoint of reason in Kant and Hegel: Demand of unconditional meaning versus absolute knowledge 255 The epistemological status of hope 259 Kant's treatment of evil in Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone 262 Comparison of the three Kantian argumentations on the scope of reason 264

3.4.3 Translations, particularity and plurality of religious traditions 267 The possibility of intercultural understanding 268 The goal of translation between a search for equivalents and engagement with particularity 269 Epoch-making translations of biblical texts 275 Plurality of interpretations in foundational scriptures and histories of effect 278

4 Conclusion of the comparison of the three positions 280

4.1 Reason in its three dimensions 280

4.1.1 Theoretical reason 280

4.1.2 Practical reason 282

4.1.3 Judgement 286

4.2 Religion and public reason 289

4.2.1 Three views of religion in relation to reason 289

4.2.2 Co-founders of the public sphere 294

Bibliography 302

Person Index 312

Subject Index 315

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews