Religion in Public: Passages from Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.

Zuidervaart, Lambert. “Religion in Public: Passages from Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.” University of Toronto Journal for Jewish Thought, 1 (April 2010).

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Do religious communities have important contributions to make in public debates about politics, economics, and social policy? Or, as Richard Rorty once argued, does religion serve primarily as a public “conversation-stopper”? This essay provides a normative account of religion, the state, and their relationship: religion should have both critical and utopian roles toward the state, I argue, and it should both support and disturb civil society. Religious truth, properly understood, is not at odds with democratic communication; religion need not be a “conversation-stopper.”