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Democracy and Tradition
Do religious arguments have a public role in the post-9/11 world? Can we hold democracy together despite fractures over moral issues? Are there moral limits on the struggle against terror? Asking how the citizens of modern democracy can reason with one another, this book carves out a controversial position between those who view religious voices as an anathema to democracy ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 25th 2005 by Princeton University Press
(first published September 22nd 2003)
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This is an important book with some major limitations. Basically, it's an attempt to confront people like MacIntyre and Hauerwas on their own turf, agreeing with them that abstract or procedural Rawls-ean liberalism is bogus but also rejecting their illiberal solution; he does this by arguing that, contra the neo-traditionalists, there is such a thing as a democratic tradition, as in Emerson/Whitman/Dewey, and there is a democratic form of piety. This is all well and good, but the whole thing re ...more
Stanley Hauerwas and John Milbank have been figures that have greatly impacted my view of the task of Christian theology. Stout's work is in large part a critique of these thinkers (especially Hauerwas). However, it is more than that. Stout plays by Hauerwas' rules, showing that democracy itself is a tradition. This is in contrast to Hauerwas et al's claim that while the secular order claims to be "rational" and "naked," it actually polices religion and other tradition based rationalities. In pl ...more
A great defense of American democratic ideals against traditionalist critics such as Hauerwas and MacIntyre. It claims continuity with Emerson, Whitman, and Dewey. While it certainly doesn't close the discussion, it's definitely worth reading, if only in sections.