Religion and the Public Sphere : New Conversations book cover
1st Edition

Religion and the Public Sphere
New Conversations

ISBN 9781138091238
Published June 4, 2018 by Routledge
120 Pages

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Book Description

Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations explores the changing contribution of religion to public life today. Bringing together a diverse group of preeminent scholars on religion, each chapter explores an aspect of religion in the public realm, from law, liberalism, the environment and security to the public participation of religious minorities and immigration. This book engages with religion in new ways, going beyond religious literacy or debates around radicalisation, to look at how religion can contribute to public discourse. Religion, this book will show, can help inform the most important debates of our time.

Table of Contents


Reimagining Academic Understanding of Religion in the Public Sphere

James Walters

Religion in Plural Publics

Chapter 1

Dialogue: The Future of Faith

Charles Taylor and Craig Calhoun

Chapter 2

The Decline of Religious Freedom and the Return of Religious Influence

John Milbank

Chapter 3

Equality for Secular Belief and Minority Faiths? Reflections on the Commission on Religion in British Public Life

Tariq Modood

Religion and Public Good

Chapter 4

Dialogue: Religion and the Environment

Rowan Williams and Bruno Latour

Religion and Public Security

Chapter 5

Religion, Security, Strategy: an unholy Trinity?

Gwen Griffith-Dickson

Chapter 6

The Genesis of Strategy: How to Stop Killing in the Name of God

Jerry White

Afterword Afterword

Craig Calhoun



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James Walters is Director of the LSE Faith Centre, Senior Lecturer in Practice at the LSE Marshall Institute and a Senior Fellow of the LSE Institute of Public Affairs, UK. 

Esther Kersley is the Research Officer for Religion and the Public Sphere at the LSE, UK.


'This volume assembles key figures in the analysis of contemporary religious dynamics to stimulate new conversations about the role of faith in modern societies. They contend that academic and public discourses are more effective at addressing global problems when they bring an analysis of religion to the fore. In an era in which the secularisation thesis has failed, where geo-political crises often intersect with religious identities, but where faith actors also play an increasing role in social welfare and reform, such a conversation is timely if not essential.' 
Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds, UK

'Ultimately, then, Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations offers exactly what a speaker series should aim to offer—a series of contributions that all revolve around the same fundamental questions—namely, what is the nature of religious belief and belonging in the modern secular West and what is the role of the state in shaping or managing religious pluralism?—but to sometimes starkly divergent ends. In so doing, the volume simultaneously announces the importance and intellectual priorities of the LSE Faith Centre while advancing scholarship of secularism and religious pluralism on several fronts at once.'
Eric Chalfant, Portland Community College, USA