Zeitschrift Für Evangelische Ethik 49 (1):248-265 (2005)

What are the sources from which the liberal secular state regenerates itself? The article describes four answers: the model of civil religion, the »Christian occident« model, the discourse model and the model of critical integration. Drawing on Habermas' and Rawls' late acknowledgment of the important role of religion for public life, the article shows how the model of critical integration of discursive reason and religion is a vital basis for the regeneration of a democratic state. The idea of freedom as a gift is shown to be one example of the contributions public theology can make to the debate on the sources of regeneration of the democratic state. Honoring the dignity of the human person as something given not earned, means building the moral infrastructure of society not on merit but on gratuitousness and the free engagement for the other.
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DOI 10.14315/zee-2005-0135
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