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Liberal civil society and culture: Socio-cultural liberalism

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Chapter Summary

Liberalism creates and promotes civil society as a non-political sphere of freedom to complement, reinforce, or help establish liberal democracy as a political system. Intertwined with those of liberal democracy and civil society, the main elements of liberal culture can be classified into the following: Enlightenment cultural values and legacies, multiculturalism, moral and religious liberalism, considered in this order next. Moral liberalism recognizes and promotes individual freedom, autonomy and responsibility or self-determination in morality. The underlying rationale is that liberalism considers religion, just as morality, to be intrinsically a realm of individual freedom, personal choice or voluntary decision rather than trans-individual and supra-human coercion or imposition as in anti-liberalism, notably religious conservatism and fascism.

Keywords: liberal civil society; liberalism; moral liberalism; multiculturalism; religious liberalism

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