David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The attraction between religion and politics is perennial. Sometimes, in its long and checkered history, it has led to an adulterous affair. I want to ask what lies at the heart of this attraction, and whether that can shed any light on the current religious/political scene. But the romance metaphor is at bottom not a good one. I shall argue that, in their originary condition, religion and politics are "closer," both ontologically and in their motivation, than woman and man, closer than siblings. Perhaps the image of siamese identical twins would serve best as a figure for the union which binds together these domains, in spite of the peculiar political history which has, in the West and especially in this country, attempted to sunder them. Let me emphasize right here that my project is a descriptive one: I am seeking a deeper understanding of the phenomena, not attempting to develop a prescriptive or normative position concerning what is to be done. Indeed, I shall only be able to sketch the outlines of the descriptive position I shall propose.
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