Chapter

No Restraint: Arguments From Religious Freedom, Equality, and Enrichment

Kent Greenawalt

in Private Consciences and Public Reasons

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195094190
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853021 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195094190.003.0009
No Restraint: Arguments From Religious Freedom, Equality, and Enrichment

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In this chapter, a challenge to the idea of ecumenical exchange is set forth from explicit religious premises. One made by David Smolin critiques Michael Perry's ideas on religious dialogue. Based mainly on the conservative traditionalist view, Smolin rejects the idea of a rational reexamination of religious beliefs. Smolin regards liberal Christianity as unstable, because the attempted mix of modernist premises with loyalty to God is bound to result in an increasingly secular identity. Smolin urges that the very nature of scriptural religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is that they posit an extremely public and accessible revelation of God, from this Christian perspective, the main barrier to acceptance of Christianity is not insufficient understanding but a failure of will stemming from sinful human nature. Perry's reply to this critique presents a shift in position which Perry says that one should not posit an ideal that would render beliefs like David Smolin's an inappropriate basis for political choice. Instead, those beliefs need to be met on their merits.

Keywords: ecumenical exchange; Christianity; religion; Judaism; Islam; nonrestraint; David Smolin; Michael Perry

Chapter.  4417 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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