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Religion and Politics in Post-Secular Society: Beyond the Public / Private Divide

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains why religion is relevant for understanding the pre-political pre-conditions of liberal democracy, why, in fact, democracy's spiritual infrastructure is religious in nature. Secondly, it discusses the standard liberal version of these pre-conditions and why this standard version has largely become inadequate, in view of Taylor's recent research on secularisation. The chapter describes the alternative concept of the post-secular society, not only as a description of a matter of fact but even more as a concept with normative consequences. It draws some conclusions about the obsolescence of the public/private divide, in light of the increasing relevance of religion for democracy. Living in a post-secular age implies for both believers and non-believers: living with each other in a spirit of mutual benevolence and openness, as well as a willingness to transcend their own limitedness.

Keywords: post-secular society; public/private divide; religion



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