Religion, respect and public reason

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Do the constraints of public reason unfairly exclude religious citizens? Two ways of framing the charge of exclusivity are examined: the burden of translation objection and the integrity objection. The first, it is argued, rests on a misapplication of the ‘distributive paradigm’ and fails to provide a convincing account of religious citizens’ relationship to their beliefs. The ‘integrity’ objection, it is argued, relies on a theologically questionable account of ‘wholeness’ and drastically overestimates the threat to personal integrity posed by the duty of civility. It is argued here that it is a mistake to interpret the ideal of public reason as inimical to recognising religious citizens as co-deliberators and that, on the contrary, only a public reason centred account of democratic citizenship can ensure that religious citizens will be appropriately recognised. A rival, convergence, account of public reason, which seeks to relax the constraint of public reason and eliminate the duty of civility is rejected on the grounds that it fails to underwrite the appropriate recognition of citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Early online date09 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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