Religious Commitment and Secular Reason

Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206):134-137 (2002)
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Many religious people are alarmed about features of the current age - violence in the media, a pervasive hedonism, a marginalization of religion, and widespread abortion. These concerns influence politics, but just as there should be a separation between church and state, so should there be a balance between religious commitments and secular arguments calling for social reforms. Robert Audi offers a principle of secular rationale, which does not exclude religious grounds for action but which rules out restricting freedom except on grounds that any rational citizen would accept. The book describes the essential commitments of free democracy, explains how religious and secular moral considerations can be integrated to facilitate co-operation in a world of religious pluralism, and proposes ideals of civic virtue that express the mutual respect on which democracy depends. Audi offers a balanced and sophisticated treatment of the relations between religion and politics in a modern, secular society.



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Stephen R. L. Clark
University of Liverpool

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