From Political Theory to Political Theology
Religious Challenges and the Prospects of Democracy
edited by Péter Losonczi & Aakash Singh
(Continuum Books, 2010)
During the last two decades we have witnessed what José Casanova has characterised as “religion going public”. This has not been a trend exclusive to traditionally religious nations. Rather, it has been visible in as diverse environments as that of the construction of the new Russian political identity or in the “post-9/11” political discourses of the USA. Surprisingly, important religious manifestations also influenced the political discourses in Britain and, more recently, in France. Partly as a consequence of these phenomena an intensive debate is now evolving about the compatibility of the neutrality of liberal democracy in relation to religiously motivated opinions in public discourses, and the conditions under which such religiously driven contributions could viably “go public”.
This book offers a collection of essays, which critically discusses the most important questions that characterize these debates at the points of their intersection within political theory, political theology and the philosophy of religion, and considers both the challenges and the prospects of this new era which, following Habermas, one may call post-secular.
The book is based on papers presented at a conference in 2008 on "Religion and Democracy: Challenges and Prospects", organized by IRNRD (International Research Network on Religion and Democracy).
Foreword - Graham Ward & Michael Hoelzl
Part One: Liberal Accommodations to the Religious Challenge
1. Religion and Liberalism: Public Reason, Public Sphere and Cultural Pluralism - Sebastiano Maffettone
2. Accommodating Pluralism through Public Justification - Eszter Kollár
3. Public Reason and Models of Judgement - Daniele Santoro
4. Hannah Arendt and the Problem of Public ReligionI - Gábor Gángó
Part Two: Challenging the Liberal Secular Paradigm From Within
5. Cultural Identity, Religion, Moral Pluralism and the Law - Herman De Dijn
6. Can Freedom of Religion Replace the Virtue of Tolerance? - Peter Jonkers
7. Democracy and Moral Relativism in a Post-Secular World - András Lánczi
Part Three: Radicalizing the Challenges: Recuperating Religion
8. Religion, Democracy and the Empty Shrine of Pluralism - Walter Van Herck
9. Religion after Auschwitz - Balázs M. Mezei
10. Politics without Dénouement, Faith without Guarantee - Theo de Wit
Part Four: Political Theology as Political Theory: Prospects
11. Reinhold Niebuhr and the Crisis of Liberalism - Alexander Rosenthal
12. Genuine or Elitist Democracy? - András Csepregi
13. The New Political Theology as Political Theory - Péter Losonczi
Péter Losonczi is Associate Professor at the Institute for Intercultural Studies at the University of West Hungary, Hungary. Aakash Singh is Research Professor at the Centre for Ethics and Global Politics at LUISS University, Rome, Italy.