David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (2):179-206 (2007)
This paper examines a remarkable document that has escaped critical attention within the vast literature on John Rawls, religion, and liberalism: Rawls's undergraduate thesis, "A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: An Interpretation Based on the Concept of Community" (1942). The thesis shows the extent to which a once regnant version of Protestant theology has retreated into seminaries and divinity schools where it now also meets resistance. Ironically, the young Rawls rejected social contract liberalism for reasons that anticipate many of the claims later made against him by secular and religious critics. The thesis and Rawls's late unpublished remarks on religion and World War II offer a new dimension to his intellectual biography. They show the significance of his humanist response to the moral impossibility of political theology. Moreover, they also reveal a kind of Rawlsian piety marginalized by contemporary debates over religion and liberalism
|Keywords||public reason community religion liberalism political theology John Rawls|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (2001). Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
Michael Sandel (2003). Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Routledge, in Association with the Open University 336-343.
Jeffrey Stout (2005). Democracy and Tradition. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
P. Mackenzie Bok (forthcoming). To the Mountaintop Again: The Early Rawls and Post-Protestant Ethics in Postwar America. Modern Intellectual History:1-33.
Paul Weithman (2012). On John Rawls'sa Brief Inquiry Into the Meaning of Sin and Faith. Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (4):557-582.
Similar books and articles
Russell Disilvestro (2005). Human Embryos in the Original Position? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (3):285 – 304.
Hennie Lötter (1999). Rawls, Young, and the Scope of Justice. Theoria 46 (94):90-107.
Robert C. Robinson (2009). A Defense of the Maximin Principle in Rawls' Theory of Justice. Humanity and Social Science Journal 4 (2):175-179.
Patrick Tomlin (2008). Envy, Facts and Justice: A Critique of the Treatment of Envy in Justice as Fairness. Res Publica 14 (2):101-116.
Philip Pettit (1974). A Theory of Justice? Theory and Decision 4 (3-4):311-324.
Simon Căbulea May (2009). Religious Democracy and the Liberal Principle of Legitimacy. Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (2):136-170.
Speranta Dumitru (2007). Equal Minds Behind the Veil of Ignorance. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:127-135.
Antonio Pérez-Estévez (2007). May Western Rights, by Extension, Become Human Rights? The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:61-72.
Burleigh T. Wilkins (2007). Principles for the Law of Peoples. Journal of Ethics 11 (2):161 - 175.
H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr (2006). Critical Reflections on Theology's Handmaid. Philosophy and Theology 18 (1):53-75.
Larry A. Alexander (1985). Fair Equality of Opportunity. Philosophy Research Archives 11:197-208.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads16 ( #225,722 of 1,902,050 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #115,170 of 1,902,050 )
How can I increase my downloads?