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pursue a strategy of antisecularization, it would most likely be accompanied by "the same dangers that did obtain during the state-forming wars of early-modern Europe. While the criteria for what qualifies a premise as "theologically explicit" remains ambiguous, Stout does seem to allow for religious argumentation in public when doing so involves an appeal to values held across a variety of religious and nonreligious perspectives. But if Wolin and Coles wish to distinguish democracy from political liberalism largely along these lines, others have recently brought issues of religiosity to the fore, arguing that liberalism by no means exhausts the conditions under which religious beliefs can be held and even. In the end, and despite his best efforts, I think Stout fails to appreciate the ways in which his account of democracy, even in this more "generous" modality, falls prey to a policing impulse toward religion similar to the one highlighted in Connolly. Democracy and Tradition may seem a bit trivial - the concept is, after all, discussed in only one chapter Secularization and Resentment out of twelve - I would nonetheless insist that its demarcation and resolution remains a crucial component of the text. "The theory I offer Stout writes, "is an account of what transpires between people engaging in public discourse, not an account of what they believe, assume, or presuppose as individuals. In respect to the contemporary geopolitical moment, whereby, in the words of Alain Badiou, "it is somehow prohibited not to be a democrat" and interventions are routinely conducted by "meddling democratic marines and paratroopers the need to draw such distinctions becomes rather acute (and. And, more pertinently, which faiths (or values) are we able to secure to such a degree that the unity of a collective, a community, or a civic nation (an entity Connolly's theorizations continue to reference) remains intact? Just as Connolly argues that religious beliefs, when held too tightly and too confidently, pose a serious threat to what he calls the "existential basis for democratic politics so also does Stout's vision of democracy share with secular liberalism the view that religious identities.
If these questions go for the most part unanswered. Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. This realization does not, however, lead him to dismiss secularism outright. In sum, the ideological "secularism" attributed to political liberalism is but a decoy which effectively diverts attention away from what remains Stout's own deeply problematic prescriptions regarding public religious expression. Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. In modern democracies, theological claims tend not to have the default status of being justified in the latter sense when uttered in public settings - for the simple reason that these settings tend to be religiously plural (99). Likewise, it allows him to delineate the manner in which religious sensibilities should be fashioned under such circumstances. Significantly, this discussion of claims could easily lead one to assume that Stout teen alcoholism essays is laying the groundwork for a radical epistemological critique of the possibility for any public consensus - after all, what sort of claim, religious or otherwise, could withstand his demand that. "This is a truly illuminating and necessary book. The implications of this last stipulation are elaborated in a crucial distinction he draws between a person being justified in believing a particular claim, and the manner in which a particular claim becomes justified. This is the sense in which public discourse in modern democracies tends to be secularized (97). Thus, people are free to frame their contributions to democratic discourse in whatever vocabulary they please, as long as they do not expect everyone to share their perspectives (97).
The book's principle task is to reconsider the terms of interaction between religion and democracy, which Stout summarizes in the query "What role, if any, should religious premises play in the reasoning citizens engage in when they make and defend political decisions" (63)? His research interests include secularism, political theology, ethics, and questions of value. It is for this reason that we should be skeptical of Stout's attempt to differentiate, at least so far as religion is concerned, his version of democracy from that of liberalism and secularism. Some theorists, such as Sheldon Wolin (2004) and Romand Coles (2005 propose such a distinction by distancing what they call "radical" or "fugitive" democratic engagements from the calculus of state power - a move liberals neither find desirable nor seem capable. These attributes, according to Stout, instead correspond to the quite particular ideology of "secularism" put forth by political liberalism.
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