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Religious Conviction in Liberal Politics


  • Page extent: 416 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 322/.1
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: BL65.P7 .E23 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Religion and politics
    • Liberalism--Religious aspects

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521812245 | ISBN-10: 0521812240)

What role should a citizen's religious convictions play in her political activities? Is she, for example, permitted to decide on the basis of her religious convictions to support laws that criminalize abortion or discourage homosexual relations? Christopher Eberle is deeply at odds with the dominant orthodoxy among political theorists about the relation of religion and politics. His argument is that a citizen may responsibly ground her political commitments on religious beliefs, even if her only reasons for her political commitments are religious in nature. His ideal of citizenship allows citizens to engage in politics without privatizing their religious commitments, and yet does not license mindless and intransigent sectarianism. An inherently controversial book that offers a substantial challenge to political liberalism, it will be read by students and professionals in philosophy, political science, law and religious studies, and general readers seeking insight into the relationship between religious commitments and liberal politics.

• Controversial thesis defending the view that political commitments can be grounded on religious convictions • Cross-disciplinary readership • Sufficiently well-written to be accessible to general readers


Part I. Religion and Responsible Citizenship: 1. Religion and responsible citizenship; 2. Pluralism and religion; 3. Justificatory liberalism; Part II. Why Restraint?: 4. What respect requires; 5. What respect does not require; 6. Religion, war and division; Part III. What Is Public Justification?: 7. Populist conceptions of public justification; 8. Liberalism and mysticism; 9. A theistic case for restraint.


'… well-argued [and] comprehensive …'. Political Studies Review

'Eberle's book should become the new gold standard … In thinking about the question of the proper role of religion in politics, this is the book with which one should now begin. If one were going to read just one book in this area, this is the book I would recommend.' Michael Perry, Wake Forest University

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