Religion in Politics: Constitutional and Moral Perspectives

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - 168 pagini
In this book, Michael Perry addresses several fundamental questions about the proper role of religion in the politics of a liberal democracy, which is a central, recurring issue in the politics of the United States. The controversy about religion in politics comprises both constitutional and moral questions. According to the constitutional law of the United States, government may not "establish" religion. Given this "nonestablishment" requirement, what role (if any) is it constitutionally permissible for religion to play in the politics of the United States? Does a legislator or other public official, or even an ordinary citizen, violate the nonestablishment requirement by presenting a religious argument in public debate about what political choice to make? Not every liberal democracy is constitutionally committed to an ideal of nonestablishment. Even in the absence of such a constitutional requirement, however, fundamental political-moral questions remain. Is it morally appropriate for citizens - in particular, legislators and other public officials - to present religious arguments about the morality of human conduct in public political debate? Is it morally appropriate for them to rely on such arguments in making a political choice? In addressing these and other questions, Perry criticizes recent work by Kent Greenawalt, John Rawls, and John Finnis.

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Introduction Religion in Politics
One The Constitutional Law of Religious Freedom
Two Religious Arguments in Public Political Debate
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About the Author:
Michael J. Perry is the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University. Among his numerous writings are The Constitution in the Courts (Oxford, 1994) and Love & Power (Oxford, 1991).

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