Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State

Paperback | July 15, 2014

byRobert Audi

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Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendlytoward religion. This book articulates principles that enable secular governments to protect liberty in a way that judiciously separates church and state and fully respects religious citizens.After presenting a brief account of the relation between religion and ethics, the book shows how ethics can be independent of religion - evidentially autonomous in a way that makes moral knowledge possible for secular citizens - without denying religious sources a moral authority of their own. Withthis account in view, it portrays a church-state separation that requires governments not only to avoid religious establishment but also to maintain religious neutrality. The book shows how religious neutrality is related to such issues as teaching evolutionary biology in public schools, thelegitimacy of vouchers to fund private schooling, and governmental support of "faith-based initiatives." The final chapter shows how the proposed theory of religion and politics incorporates toleration and forgiveness as elements in flourishing democracies. Tolerance and forgiveness are described;their role in democratic citizenship is clarified; and in this light a conception of civic virtue is proposed. Overall, the book advances the theory of liberal democracy, clarifies the relation between religion and ethics, provides distinctive principles governing religion in politics, and provides a theory of toleration for pluralistic societies. It frames institutional principles to guide governmentalpolicy toward religion; it articulates citizenship standards for political conduct by individuals; it examines the case for affirming these two kinds of standards on the basis of what, historically, has been called natural reason; and it defends an account of toleration that enhances the practicalapplication of the ethical framework both in individual nations and in the international realm.

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Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendlytoward religion. This book articulates princ...

Robert Audi is an internationally distinguished contributor to ethics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of action. He has published numerous books and papers in all these fields and lectures widely in these areas and, more recently, in business ethics. He is a past president of the American Philosophical Ass...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:July 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199371563

ISBN - 13:9780199371563

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Autonomy of Ethics and the Moral Authority of ReligionThe Autonomy of EthicsMoral Knowledge: General and ParticularReligion, Theology, and EthicsTheoethical Equilibrium: The Integration of Religion and EthicsDivine Command Ethics and Secular Morality2. The Liberty of Citizens and the Responsibilities of GovernmentThe Separation of Church and State and the Limits of Democratic AuthorityThe Liberty Principle and the Scope of Religious FreedomThe Equality Principle and the Case Against EstablishmentThe Neutrality Principle: Accommodationist SecularityReligious Neutrality, Valuational Neutrality, and Public Policy3. The Secular State and the Religious CitizenFreedom of Expression in the Advocacy of Laws and Public PoliciesMajor Principles Governing the Advocacy of Laws and Public PoliciesThe Charge of Exclusivism Toward Religious ReasonsNatural Reason, Secularity, and Religious ConvictionsReligious Reasons, Political Decision, and TolerationPrivatization Versus Activism: The Place of Religious Considerations in Public Political Discourse4. Democratic Tolerance and Religious Obligation in a Globalized WorldThe Nature of ToleranceIs Tolerance a Virtue?Toleration and ForgivenessThe Normative Standards for Democratic TolerationReligion in the Workplace as a Test Case for a Theory of TolerationCosmopolitanism as a Framework for ToleranceCivic Virtue and Democratic ParticipationInternational Implications of the FrameworkConclusionEndnotesIndex