Of the numerous topics current philosophy is attentive to certainly the issue of religion is central. This anthology starts with Jürgen Habermas’ notion of “the public sphere” and works to connect this notion to the issue of religion. Of course, religion has long been part of the public sphere. For much of human history, people established their various formations of society and state in a manner continuous with religion. Their discourses were compact. Habermas’ early works argue for a differentiation of the religious and political spheres from the public sphere that eventually overcame “representational” culture, with its authoritarianism, particularly with the rise of capitalism and then the ensuing moves towards democracy. In turn, this led for some Enlightenment thinkers, but certainly not all, to seek the overcoming of religion and its replacement with reason. This failed or at least thus far unfulfilled agenda is only part of the back story for this book. Habermas himself has clearly now decided to take on the issue of religion in “the public sphere” and the responses to this reconsideration come from Charles Taylor, Judith Butler, and Cornel West with concluding remarks from Craig Calhoun.
Roth, Robin Alice
"The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 3, Article 22.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol3/iss1/22
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