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Restraints On Religious Reasoning In The Political Square?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores John Rawls's so-called proviso, a requirement that he derives from his idea of public reason as part of the wide view of public political culture (Rawls 2005: 462). This proviso has been strongly criticized by systematic and philosophical theologians for the alleged restraint it puts on the use of religious considerations or reasons in public political discussion and decisions. The restraint is seen as disrespectful and unfair to citizens who are religious. The chapter examines the objections of the critics, among whom author have singled out Wolterstorff as a major representative. It concludes with a real-life example of the use of religious considerations in European politics, which shows that the Rawlsian requirements can be, and in fact are, met by politicians who are also religious believers.

Keywords: European politics; John Rawls; political liberalism; proviso; religious believers; restraint



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