Why Can’t We All Just Get Along With Each Other?

Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

in Understanding Liberal Democracy

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558957
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744808 | DOI:
Why Can’t We All Just Get Along With Each Other?

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It is often said or assumed that the presence of religion in our society necessarily harbors within itself the threat of coercion and violence. Religion, though it may talk and dream of peace, is a menace to peace. To move toward the elimination of coercion and violence, thus to achieve peace, it is said, we must aspire to a politics of consensus on fundamental principles of justice and social order. Accordingly, all the particular religions must shape up so as to be compatible with such a politics. The central question of this essay is: Which principles of social organisation must an exclusivist religion be willing to affirm if it is to embrace a liberal democratic polity for a society in which there are other such religions?

Keywords: Audi; Robert; Christianity; coercion; Derrida; Jacques; Hick; John; Judaism; Islam; Kant; Kuyper; Abraham; Larmore; Charles; liberal democracy; Qutb; Sayyid; Rawls; John; reasonable; Rorty; Richard; separation of church and state; violence

Chapter.  9103 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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