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Pluralism Paperback – September 16, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0822335672 ISBN-10: 0822335670

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (September 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822335670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822335672
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Pluralism is a brilliant study. Powerful, cogent, and compulsively readable, it presents a strong case for a democratic pluralism that is worthy of embrace by all who think the fundamentalism of our age needs to be countered, not with more of the same from another direction, but with the best-articulated and most profoundly true vision of another way of being together politically. If taken up, this book will change hearts and minds.”—Thomas Dumm, author of A Politics of the Ordinary


Pluralism is a practical intervention in the politics of antagonism in liberal democracies. William E. Connolly’s openness to religious ways of being in the world is unusual in a political theorist. But that openness allows him to draw on a wide range of resources for practices of agonistic engagement among political rivals. Connolly has an exceptional ability to plumb ordinary experiences for nuances that help one to realize virtues of faith, forbearance, and respect. Here are agile reflections on how we might become better than we are. And, as ever, Connolly’s style is warm, eclectic, honest, accessible, and somehow distinctly American.”—Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, Department of Religious Studies, Grinnell College


“If I were to pick an academic text as my political manifesto, if I were to look for a scholarly piece of writing which combined intellectual rigor and humility with incisive political analysis and practical effects, then Bill Connolly’s Pluralism would be the one. It will become the touchstone for a range of debates in political theory around democracy, global politics, and the political virtues we require.”—David Campbell, author of Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity


“William E. Connolly pursues his impassioned search for a renewed pluralism, beyond mere tolerance. In a world beset by easy answers and hard action, he argues eloquently for a ‘multidimensional’ ethos of openness, in acceptance of complexity. Against doctrine, secular or religious, he refinds faith—in this world. A significant new philosophical statement by one of the foremost political thinkers of our time.”—Brian Massumi, author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation

From the Publisher

"Pluralism is a brilliant study. Powerful, cogent, and compulsively readable, it presents a strong case for a democratic pluralism that is worthy of embrace by all who think the fundamentalism of our age needs to be countered, not with more of the same from another direction, but with the best-articulated and most profoundly true vision of another way of being together politically. If taken up, this book will change hearts and minds."—Thomas Dumm, author of A Politics of the Ordinary

"If I were to pick an academic text as my political manifesto, if I were to look for a scholarly piece of writing which combined intellectual rigor and humility with incisive political analysis and practical effects, then Bill Connolly’s Pluralism would be the one. It will become the touchstone for a range of debates in political theory around democracy, global politics, and the political virtues we require."—David Campbell, author of Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity

"Pluralism is a practical intervention in the politics of antagonism in liberal democracies. William E. Connolly’s openness to religious ways of being in the world is unusual in a political theorist. But that openness allows him to draw on a wide range of resources for practices of agonistic engagement among political rivals. Connolly has an exceptional ability to plumb ordinary experiences for nuances that help one to realize virtues of faith, forbearance, and respect. Here are agile reflections on how we might become better than we are. And, as ever, Connolly’s style is warm, eclectic, honest, accessible, and somehow distinctly American."—Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, Department of Religious Studies, Grinnell College

"William E. Connolly pursues his impassioned search for a renewed pluralism, beyond mere tolerance. In a world beset by easy answers and hard action, he argues eloquently for a ‘multidimensional’ ethos of openness, in acceptance of complexity. Against doctrine, secular or religious, he refinds faith—in this world. A significant new philosophical statement by one of the foremost political thinkers of our time."—Brian Massumi, author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Political Observer on May 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. Pluralism not only offers a sophisticated diagnosis of some of the most pressing tensions and difficulties in contemporary democratic politics today by revealing how broad modes of thought, discourse, feeling and behaviour help shape and orient the mood of Western politics today. It also offers a nuanced, heartfelt and principled vision of what a truly pluralistic political society might be able to achieve - as well as suggesting ways that we as individuals and communities can work to cultivate such a society.

Whether you have already read some of Connolly's previous work or are thinking about reading one of America's pre-eminent theorists of pluralism for the first time, Pluralism is a must read book. It offers Connolly's clearest and most persuasive outline and defence of his unique pluralistic worldview to date. It also provides compelling and straightforward responses to many questions that have been posed by critics (the chapter on the difference between pluralism and relativism is worth the price of the book on its own). Moreover, it embodies its own pluralistic approach by engaging respectfully and openly with many approaches - including those with which he agrees, some with which he strongly disagrees, and, perhaps most interestingly, others with which he disagrees but with whom he sees the possibility of cultivating areas of mutual respect and discussion. In sum, it is a work that should be read by anyone who is interested in understanding the ways that political theory can illuminate and (hopefully) influence the fundamental debates and pressures of contemporary politics.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EU Pluralist on May 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Connolly is one of the very few theorists I know of who knows how to unlock the democratic promise of pluralism. He has honed in on the forces of a democratic society that undermine pluralism and those that foster it, and he understands how a pluralist society can become genuinely inclusive of all voices, including religious voices, and just as importantly how each voice itself can become inclusive of the pluralistic possibilities that belong to a democratic society and its participating voices as a whole. Connolly's Pluralism is the Bible of pluralist thought." EU Pluralist
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9 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Solidago caesia on May 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm deeply disppointed in the direction that William Connolly has taken. "The Augustinian Imperative" and the "Political Theory and Modernity" were my favorite books about eight years ago. I was almost a true believer in the William Connolly gospel. I still believe that the old books are excellent books, but I think he has refused to grow and become enmeshed in a rhetoric that gets dull though overuse and insufficiently attuned to the possibilities of an indifferent universe.

In this book, he seems so concentrated on his war with William Bennett and his views of pluralism that he seems to ignore other possibilities. For instance, and this is an extremely important for instance, what if a religion preaches war as the way its believers should relate to non-believers? Should we brush that fact under the table to further our anti-William Bennett agenda?

Another, for instance, what if one is a homosexual? Is a homosexual really intolerant who doesn't want immigrants in his countries who believe that he should be stoned to death? Is Connolly in any sense compassionate to teach an ethos that questions the logic of such a homosexual? Such an ethos may well drive the homosexual into the arms of William Bennett. Bennett seems more likely than Connolly to return any kisses.
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