Religious Reasons in the Public Sphere: A Challenge to Habermas

Philosophy and Theology 31 (1):121-143 (2019)
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Abstract

Should religious reasons be used in political discourse? Habermas argues that religious reasons can enter the public sphere so long as they undergo a translation that meets the standards of public reason. I argue that such a translation may be either unnecessary or impossible. Habermas does not sufficiently consider the possibility that religious reasons are already publicly accessible such that no translation is required. Moreover, Habermas entirely fails to consider the possibility that, if he is right about religious reasons not being publicly accessible, these reasons may be of a kind such that they cannot be translated into a publicly accessible idiom as he supposes they can be.

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Joshua Duclos
St. Paul's School (NH)

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism: Expanded Edition.John Rawls - 2005 - Columbia University Press.
The Idea of the Holy.R. Otto - 1958 - Oxford University Press USA.

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