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Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship

Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship


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  • Date Published: August 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521808576

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • In Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship Paul J. Weithman asks whether citizens in a liberal democracy may base their votes and their public political arguments on their religious beliefs. Drawing on empirical studies of how religion actually functions in politics, he challenges the standard view that citizens who rely on religious reasons must be prepared to make good their arguments by appealing to reasons that are 'accessible' to others. He contends that churches contribute to democracy by enriching political debate and by facilitating political participation, especially among the poor and minorities, and as a consequence, citizens acquire religiously based political views and diverse views of their own citizenship. He concludes that the philosophical view which most defensibly accommodates this diversity is one that allows ordinary citizens to draw on the views their churches have formed when voting and offering public arguments for their political positions.

    • Contributes to a major and continuing debate among political philosophers
    • Draws on empirical social scientific findings
    • Clearly written
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    • Winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Religion and the Obligation of Citizenship is a terrific book, replete with subtle insight, sympathetic exegesis, moral seriousness, and trenchant argument. … No one interested in the current state of the discussion on religion and politics can afford to miss this book.' Ethics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521808576
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgement
    1. Introduction
    2. Participation, full participation and realized citizenship
    3. Religion's role in promoting democracy
    4. Public argument
    5. The principles
    6. Robert Audi on secular reasons
    7. John Rawls on public reasons
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    Paul J. Weithman, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    PAUL J. WEITHMAN is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is editor of Religion and Contemporary Liberalism (1997) and co-editor of the five-volume Philosophy of Rawls (with Henry Richardson, 1999).


    • Winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Prize

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