Contemporary Political Philosophy and Religion : Between Public Reason and Pluralism book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Political Philosophy and Religion
Between Public Reason and Pluralism

ISBN 9780415552196
Published December 18, 2017 by Routledge
358 Pages

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Book Description

What is the place of religion in a pluralist democracy? The continuous presence of religion in the public sphere has raised anew normative and practical issues related to the role of religion in a democratic polity, generating spirited political debates in Western and non-Western contexts. Contemporary Political Philosophy and Religion provides an advanced introduction to, and a critical appraisal of, the major schools of political thought with a focus on the relationship between democracy and religion. Key features of this book include:

  • Analyses of different political traditions: liberalism, republicanism, deliberative democracy, feminism, postmodernism, multiculturalism, and interculturalism;
  • Critical discussions of key contemporary philosophers, such as John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, Susan Moller Okin, Martha Nussbaum, Will Kymlicka, Chandran Kukathas, and Bhiku Parekh;
  • A pluralist approach that questions the strict divide between analytical and continental political philosophy;
  • Discussion on the place of religion in politics from multiple perspectives by drawing on a plurality of political contexts, both Western and non-Western;
  • Analyses of legal and political cases related to different religious traditions, for example, Islam, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

This comprehensive text will be of great use to students of religion and politics in the fields of political and legal theory, and religious and theological studies, while also offering critical insights and arguments that will be of interest to the experts in the field.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Plea for Complexity

1. Political Liberalism, Public Reason, and Religion: John Rawls

2. Public Reason Contested: Religion, Citizenship, and Inclusion

3. Postsecularism, Translation, and Religion: Jürgen Habermas

4. Republicanism: Between Non-domination, the Common Good, and Civil Religion

5. Charles Taylor’s Hermeneutics of Modernity: Secularization, Recognition, and Inclusive Liberalism

6. Multiculturalism and its Critics: From Rise to Fall?

7. The Conundrum of Gender Equality and Religion: Between the Autonomy and the Capability Approach

8. Democracy and Postmodernism: Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo

9. Globalization and the Ambivalence of Religion

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Camil Ungureanu is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Coordinator of the MA in Political Philosophy at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. He has published articles in several journals and co-edited various books on the topics of contemporary political philosophy, art, religion, and politics.

Paolo Monti is Lecturer at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. He has published and edited several works on the philosophy of social practices, the ethics of democratic citizenship, and the role of religion in the public sphere.


‘Camil Ungureanu and Paolo Monti have written an impressive book full of insights on one of the most important political issues of our time. The book provides a compass with which to navigate the oceanic literature on the topic: the authors take the reader through very high seas of contemporary controversies on the place of religion in our societies. Ungureanu and Monti steer the boat to the safe harbour of detailed knowledge and dispassionate analysis despite the sheer complexity of the problem.’ - Lorenzo Zucca, King's College London, UK.

‘This book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debates about the role of religion in our contemporary democratic societies. It will be essential reading for scholars and students looking for a critical introduction to the debates, while Camil Ungureanu and Paolo Monti also provide their own original take on the subject.’ - Lasse Thomassen, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

‘Complete, well-documented, lucid, and always thought-provoking, Contemporary Political Philosophy and Religion takes stock of a rapidly growing debate on the changing relation of religion and politics in the 21st century. Always paying the complexity of the subject its dues, Ungureanu's and Monti's volume is a must-read for any reader up to find her own way through the maze of the conflicting views on religion in the public realm.’ - Alessandro Ferrara, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.

'Ungureanu and Monti have provided a wide-ranging and philosophically balanced account of the major positions on religion and politics. Their focus is international yet they write with a keen sense of individual and cultural differences. The book nicely combines insightful broad strokes with detailed analysis and careful scholarship.' - Robert Audi, University of Notre Dame, USA.