Theorising Post-Secular Society

Philosophy and Theology 19 (1/2):95-124 (2007)
Abstract
In this article, I speak self-consciously as a man of faith addressing both believers and non-believers, but with the latter especially in mind. I suggest that we are currently witnessing (i) a highly significant departure from the ‘old’ model of liberal society that championed a sacred-secular divide, where the state was (only) a neutral umpire with a deliberately cultivated attitude of ‘studied public indifference’ to the ‘inner life’ of the vast host of (private) associations that itwas obliged to impartially regulate, and (ii) a transition to a ‘new’ post-secular model of liberal society that champions and promotes a sacred-secular distinction (a complementary unity of distinct aspects), where the state is obliged to rethink itself and become (also) the state of its society. In this respect, it resembles the state in the era of Christendom. I hold that Rawls and Habermas are handicapped in their efforts to theorise post-secular society as a result of their strong anti-metaphysical posture
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