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The Secular Contract: The Politics of Enlightenment 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1441106643
ISBN-10: 1441106642
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Editorial Reviews

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"With grace and considerable erudition, Alex Schulman has reconstructed what was the most significant political concept of the Enlightenment: that social and political life could only be grounded upon an agreement between all citizens, which excluded any consideration of religious belief not matter what the basis of its claims. The great democratic revolutions which we today associate with modernity were inexorably based on the unassailable claim that the social contract could only ever be a secular one. In recent years this principle has come under attack not only from theocratic states hostile to the western liberal democracies but, even from within some of those democracies themselves, most alarmingly the United States. In world which has witnessed some of the most devastating instances of sectarian violence since the sixteenth century, The Secular Contract, is a powerfully-argued, passionately-written account of where our true heritage lies, and a reminder that we abandon it at our peril." - Anthony Pagden, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, UCLA and author of Worlds at War. The 2500-Year Struggle between East and West.



"With grace and considerable erudition, Alex Schulman has reconstructed what was the most significant political concept of the Enlightenment: that social and political life could only be grounded upon an agreement between all citizens, which excluded any consideration of religious belief not matter what the basis of its claims. The great democratic revolutions which we today associate with modernity were inexorably based on the unassailable claim that the social contract could only ever be a secular one.  In recent years this principle has come under attack not only from theocratic states hostile to the western liberal democracies but, even from within some of those democracies themselves, most alarmingly the United States.  In world which has witnessed some of the most devastating  instances of sectarian violence since the sixteenth century, The Secular Contract, is a powerfully-argued, passionately-written account of where our true heritage lies, and a reminder that we abandon it at our peril." - Anthony Pagden, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, UCLA and author of Worlds at War. The 2500-Year Struggle between East and West.

About the Author

Alex Schulman is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the Political Science Department at Duke University. He has published articles in The Cambridge Quarterly, The Journal of Religion, and Law and Literature.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (June 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441106642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441106643
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,321,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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All modern political systems, good bad and indifferent, including ours, have their roots in the Enlightenment. Sadly this has now become a neglected Period of History amongst current college students who think that they know better than to spend time with Dead White European Males. All of our founding fathers and all of our foundational documents know differently. All would do well to read this superb, fascinating, exciting and beautifully written retelling and analysis of this history and its relationship to all of us here today. The issues laid bare are frighteningly relevant to today's political divide and stalemate. Know and understand your history and the roots and branches of your political system or be fated to relearn and relive these past battles.
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