Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion

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Ignatius Press, 2006 - Religion - 85 pages
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Two of the worlds great contemporary thinkers - theologian and churchman Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Jürgen Habermas, philosopher and Neo-Marxist social critic - discuss and debate aspects of secularization, and the role of reason and religion in a free society. These insightful essays are the result of a remarkable dialogue between the two men, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, a little over a year before Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope.

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The Theory of Secularization, as many sociologists point, that religion and its sentiments (ie. spirituality, rituals, etc) would decline and somehow reach to an end with the growth of modernization ... Read full review

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Great introduction to the topic "post-secular world". Both authors suggest that in a pluralist world religious views and non-religious positions can complement each other. I did not find it particularly difficult to follow. Habermas eloquently explains the scope and limits of liberal constitutional political systems and welcomes religious views in a secular system. the Pope brilliantly counter-argues those who think that religion should be "locked up" and calls for a more open society to different believes.
As I said before, it should be taken as an introduction and the reader should bear in mind the context where this discussion took place. Although there are not so many footnotes or expanded bibliography, the book still provides good quotations and key reference texts. The only problem in this edition is that it doesnot include the Q&A which followed the talk.

Selected pages


Foreword by Florian Schuller
The justification of the secular constitutional state
When the societal bond breaks
Secularization as a twofold and complementary
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
New forms of power and new questions about
The intercultural dimension and its consequences

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About the author (2006)

Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, former professor of dogmatic and fundamental theology at the universities of Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg Jurgen Habermas has been a professor of philosophy at the universities of Heidelberg and Johann Wolfgang Goethe in Frankfurt am Main

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