The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can't Solve It
The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can't Solve It

The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can't Solve It

by Thaddeus J. Kozinski


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In contemporary political philosophy, there is much debate over how to maintain a public order in pluralistic democracies in which citizens hold radically different religious views. The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism deals with this theoretically and practically difficult issue by examining three of the most influential figures of religious pluralism theory: John Rawls, Jacques Maritain, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Drawing on a diverse number of sources, Kozinski addresses the flaws in each philosopher's views and shows that the only philosophically defensible end of any overlapping consensus political order must be the eradication of the ideological pluralism that makes it necessary. In other words, a pluralistic society should have as its primary political aim to create the political conditions for the communal discovery and political establishment of that unifying tradition within which political justice can most effectively be obtained.

Kozinski's analysis, though exhaustive and rigorous, still remains accessible and engaging, even for a reader unversed in the works of Rawls, Maritain, and MacIntyre. Interdisciplinary and multi-thematic in nature, it will appeal to anyone interested in the intersection of religion, politics, and culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739179871
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 12/23/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Thaddeus J. Kozinski is assistant professor of humanities and philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword
Part 2 Preface
Part 3 Introduction
Part 4 Part 1 - John Rawls's Overlapping Consensus
Chapter 5 Chapter 1 - Rawls's Postmodern Turn
Chapter 6 Chapter 2 - The Failure of the Overlapping Consensus
Part 7 Part 2 - Jacque Maritain's Democratic Charter
Chapter 8 Chapter 3 - Overlapping Consensus in a New Christendom
Chapter 9 Chapter 4 - Maritain's Democratic Faith: A Sign of Contradiction
Part 10 Part 3 - Alasdair MacIntyre's Confessional Consensus
Chapter 11 Chapter 5 - MacIntyre's Tradition Constituted Rationality
Chapter 12 Chapter 6 - A Critique of MacIntyre: Why Philosophy Isn't Enough

What People are Saying About This

William T. Cavanaugh

In this rigorously argued book, Thaddeus Kozinski suggests that critiques of liberalism must find their resolution in the idea of a confessional state. Those of us who disagree will be forced to offer equally rigorous defenses of a Christian politics that is neither liberal nor state-centered. Any contemporary vision of a theological politics must take this book's stimulating and provocative argument into account.

Tracey Rowland

Thaddeus Kozinski belongs to a new generation of Catholic scholars for whom the social consensus of the 1950s is something known only from oral history and old movies, and the Catholic social theory formulated within that context is woefully inadequate to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. This work brings the theories of John Rawls, Jacques Maritain and Alasdair MacIntyre into dialog and reaches the conclusion that there are problems within the realm of political theory that cannot be solved philosophically—solutions need to be found elsewhere. Kozinski's book is on the cutting edge of a new generation of Catholic political theory and will be valuable for students of political theory everywhere regardless of their theological backgrounds.

Aidan Nichols OP

A sophisticated, cumulative case for the moral limitations and metaphysical bankruptcy of liberal political philosophy—even in its Catholic (Maritainian) form. Drawing on the much-discussed MacIntyre but going beyond him, the author shows why civil society, and the State, need a sacral keystone to complete the arch of a comprehensive human good. My only disappointment is that the book ended so soon, before displaying what a humane theopolitically legitimated State might look like: I await with eagerness a sequel where the author will do justice to his constructive as well as analytic gifts.

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