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Religious Conviction in Liberal Politics 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521011556
ISBN-10: 0521011558
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Book Description

What role should a citizen's religious convictions play in political activities? Christopher Eberle is deeply at odds with the dominant orthodoxy among political theorists about the relation of religion and politics. His argument is that a citizen may responsibly ground political commitments on religious beliefs, even if the only reasons for those political commitments are religious in nature. An inherently controversial book that offers a substantial challenge to political liberalism, it will be read by those in philosophy, political science, law and religious studies, and general readers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521011558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521011556
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. Kuykendall on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Appearing to spring from a Calvin College seminar on religion in politics organized by retired Yale Noah Porter Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff, Christopher Eberle's "Religious Conviction in Liberal Politics" takes on the major variants of the doctrine of restraint. Eberle's arguments are predicated on the notion that there are citizens who will, at least on occasion, support coercive public policy on the basis of religious reasons alone . . . and that they should not be ethically constrained from doing so.
Eberle deconstructs justificatory liberalism arguments, historical case arguments, and theistic nature-grace arguments for the doctrine of restraint. In their stead, he proposes "conscientious engagement" for citizens -- specifically, religious citizens -- but does not require this of them, ethically or otherwise.
The work is a must-read for anyone engaged in the philosophy of political discourse as it has developed following on Lemon v. Kurtzman and the articulation of the divisiveness doctrine on through Rawls's "Political Liberalism" and his interlocutors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was like Brand new! and had a great low price to go with, i would recommend getting this book here.
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Format: Paperback
This is, in my judgment, the single best book on the subject of the proper role of religion in the politics of a liberal democracy. If that subject interests you, there is no better place to begin than with this book.
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Format: Paperback
In these times of religious ressurgence, it is time someone offers a valid and balanced alternative to the justificatory-secular-purpose-driven-liberalism that as characterized much of contemporary political and legal theory, constitutional law as well as some U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The "robespierrist" ACLU is another example of liberal secularist fundamentalism. Eberle's book is one such alternative. ACLU's prime agenda seems to be the official establishment of the Cult of Secular Reason, based on naturalist, materialist and rationalist fideistic (hidden) assumptions.

His book proposes de ideal of consciencious engagement as opposed to traditional liberal justificatory and legitimatory arguments, thus suggesting a fairest balance between the theist's dual citizenship imperatives of taking God seriously and taking rights seriously.

This book is particularly interesting since it confronts the most popular liberal justificatory arguments of thinkers such as Larmore, Gaus, Audi, and Rawls, among others, as well other common (Bosnia-type) arguments about the divisive nature of religion. This is an indispensable piece of political theory, and more so today than ever.
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Format: Paperback
Eberle's book is in places a very interesting look at the subject of religion in liberal politics. Unfortunately, his treatment of many liberal views is misguided. For those looking for strong critiques of liberal giants such as Rawls, Eberle ultimately proves disappointing. To take Rawls as an example, Eberle seems to misunderstand some fairly basic elements of Rawls' argument. He treats Rawls' principles as principles meant to apply to government intervention into citizens' lives, something that Rawls does not at all intend. Rawls' argument is more that these principles need to be applied to the formulation of the basic structure of society, not to each action of the government(which is formed only after the principles for the basic structure are agreed on). Thus, Eberle's critiques, while seemingly powerful, are aimed at defeating arguments that Rawls never makes and are in fact contrary to what Rawls advocates.

Ultimately, Eberle does not address many of the strongest arguments that liberal thinkers have put forth.
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