Beyond Church and State: Democracy, Secularism and Conversion

Beyond Church and State: Democracy, Secularism and Conversion

By: Matthew Scherer (author)Hardback

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Description

Secularism is often imagined in Thomas Jefferson's words as 'a wall of separation between Church and State'. This book moves past that standard picture to argue that secularism is a process that reshapes both religion and politics. Borrowing a term from religious traditions, the book goes further to argue that this process should be understood as a process of conversion. Matthew Scherer studies Saint Augustine, John Locke, John Rawls, Henri Bergson and Stanley Cavell to present a more accurate picture of what secularism is, what it does, and how it can be reimagined to be more conducive to genuine democracy.

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About Author

Matthew Scherer is Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University.

Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction: beyond the separation of church and state: secularism as conversion; 1. The authorized narrative and crystalline structure of conversion in Augustine's Confessions; 2. Toleration and conversion in Locke's letters: it is 'above all things necessary to distinguish'; 3. The crystalline structure of conversion: Henri Bergson's Two Sources; 4. Saint John (Rawls), the miracle of secular reason; 5. The wish for a better life: Stanley Cavell's critique of the social contract; Conclusion: from Supernovas into The Deep: secularism as conversion, a conversion of secularism; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 29/03/2013
  • ISBN13: 9781107026094
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9781107026094
  • weight: 460
  • ISBN10: 1107026091

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