Chapter

Religion, Liberal Democracy, and Citizenship

Chantal Mouffe

in Political Theologies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226443
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237043 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0017
Religion, Liberal Democracy, and Citizenship

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The question of what should be the place of the church in a liberal democracy is a burning issue in several of the new Eastern European democracies. It seems, therefore, that the old controversy about the relationship between religion and politics, far from being on the wane, is again on the agenda. This chapter examines some of the issues related to this debate from the point of view of the model of agonistic pluralism. It argues that agonistic pluralism would provide a better framework than contemporary theories of political liberalism and deliberative democracy for accommodating the continuing and renewed role played by religion in the formation of personal and collective identities, and in the symbolic ordering of social relations. It also claims that the separation between church and state does not require that religion should be relegated to the private sphere and that religious symbols should be excluded from the public sphere.

Keywords: liberal democracy; religion; agonistic pluralism; church and state; social relations; religious symbols; public sphere; political liberalism; politics; collective identities

Chapter.  4491 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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