The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America (Google eBook)

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986 - Political Science - 280 pages
7 Reviews
Underlying the many crises in American life, writes Richard John Neuhaus, is a crisis of faith. It is not enough that more people should believe or that those who believe should believe more strongly. Rather, the faith of persons and communities must be more compellingly related to the public arena. bThe naked public squareb--which results from the exclusion of popular values from the public forum--will almost certainly result in the death of democracy.

The great challenge, says Neuhaus, is the reconstruction of a public philosophy that can undergird American life and Americabs ambiguous place in the world. To be truly democratic and to endure, such a public philosophy must be grounded in values that are based on Judeo-Christian religion. The remedy begins with recognizing that democratic theory and practice, which have in the past often been indifferent or hostile to religion, must now be legitimated in terms compatible with biblical faith.

Neuhaus explores the strengths and weaknesses of various sectors of American religion in pursuing this task of critical legitimation. Arguing that America is now engaged in an historic moment of testing, he draws upon Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish thinkers who have in other moments of testing seen that the stakes are very high--for America, for the promise of democratic freedom elsewhere, and possibly for Godbs purpose in the world.

An honest analysis of the situation, says Neuhaus, shatters false polarizations between left and right, liberal and conservative. In a democratic culture, the believerbs respect for nonbelievers is not a compromise but a requirement of the believerbs faith. Similarly, the democratic rights of those outsidethe communities of religious faith can be assured only by the inclusion of religiously-grounded values in the common life.

"The Naked Public Square" does not offer yet another partisan program for political of social change. Rather, it offers a deeply disturbing, but finally hopeful, examination of Abraham Lincolnbs century-old question--whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.

  

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Review: The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America

User Review  - Ashley Cale - Goodreads

This review pertains to only parts of this book! Specifically chapters 1,2,5,& 16. I personally enjoyed Neuhaus' ideas on religion, authority, and the public square. A great line: "The legitimacy of ... Read full review

Review: The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America

User Review  - Nicky - Goodreads

Directed at Christians, The Naked Public Square argues something like this: Political disputes can only be resolved by appeal to transcendent or religious principles. Appeal to religious principles ... Read full review

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Contents

Misreading the Signs of the Edition
3
Public Religion and Public Reason
20
Turning America Around
38
Critical Patriotism and the Civil Community
55
The Vulnerability of the Naked Square
78
Denying Who We Are
94
The Morality of Compromise
114
Private Morality Public Virtue
129
Invoking the Nightmares We Fear
177
A Proposition on Trial
189
The Captivities of the Mainline
202
For the World against the World
213
Class Warfare among the Saints
226
Law and the Experiment Renewes
248
Endnotes
265
Index
277

The Purloined Authority of the State
144
Christendom Reconsidered
156

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