I’ve been aware for a while that my criticisms of the more ideological incarnations of liberal rationalism have an undeniable resonance with conservative religious arguments. That was confirmed last weekend when this post I wrote last year, analyzing the liberal humanism I adopted after I left my former conservative evangelicalism, went viral in […]
A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Shape the Common Good by Miroslav Volf. Brazos, 2011, 192pp.
Should religion be monitored in our politics through a separation between the public and private sphere? Is such a division even possible? Do liberal constitutional democracies depend on this division? […]
I have many friends and acquaintances who are not only life-long regular church goers, but also priests and bishops, including my college roommate, who was a highly-decorated soldier in Vietnam and eventually […]
It is disappointing to see a Christian fulfill what I would have thought was a tired stereotype: asserting that a rival belief or argument is ultimately based on immorality. Aside from being a conversation-stopper, in today’s world it seems to exude the bunker mentality of a subculture that does not want to sincerely engage with […]
Evangelicals are belatedly grappling with how to minister to the young skeptics they are producing, but they still don’t understand why sticking with the church has become so prohibitive. Anna Scott describes the overwhelming, disheartening effort involved in not only believing in the midst of deep suffering, but in finding a Christian identity in a […]
One of the most important living philosophers has turned his attention to the relationship between faith and reason. In doing so, Jürgen Habermas has continued to fulfil his exemplary role as a public intellectual committed to the practice of reasonable communication as a model for politics. Given what some have called the “return of religion” to the public sphere, Habermas’ contribution is sure to be widely-discussed. It also deserves a wide hearing among North American Christians.
Allow me to simplify Habermas’ ideas and put his project into slightly more mundane terms. He posits that one important way of understanding the pursuit of truth and the good life is as a shared quest. This obviously places a good deal of weight on the nature of human communication. Our ability to communicate with one another cannot hinder our ability to realize the good life, otherwise such a view is doomed. In practice, many of the more extreme voices present in North American society – a good number of which are religious – thrive on obfuscation that undermines communication, however much they pay lip service to objectivity…
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