Liberty: Rethinking an Imperiled Ideal

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Sep 28, 2007 - Religion - 407 pages
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Liberty is a dangerous concept. It??'s sure to be misused and, if left unchecked, will likely bring not social harmony and happiness but their opposites. Nonetheless, liberty is absolutely necessary: without it there can be no authentic community. People are not free to do the right thing unless they are free to do the wrong thing; if they can???t be wrong, they can???t be right.

Thus does Glenn Tinder, in this provocative work, argue emphatically for ???negative liberty??? ? the liberty that wants primarily to be left alone, with the authorities interfering as little as possible in the lives of people ? and against ???positive liberty??? ? a liberty that seeks to guide people into a ???fulfilling??? life.

One of America's major thinkers on Civic life, Tinder approaches the ideal of liberty with a blend of pervasive pessimism and strong optimism. He writes from an open, nondogmatic Christian point of view, believing strongly in reason and in the primary importance of free communication and dialogue, and he insists that Christians can learn from such non-Christians as Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx.

The substance of Tinder??'s book lies at the intersection of several major themes ? communication, human fallenness, the necessity of liberty, standing alone, and eschatology ? each considered in light of learning what liberty truly is and how it will affect the world at large.

 

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Contents

The Mystery of Personality
212
Politics and the Dialogic Ideal
219
Tolerance
223
Tolerance and Reason
228
Tolerance and Faith
241
The Burden of Tolerance
246
Universality The Public Realm
250
The Public Realm
255

The Naked Human Soul
38
The Ordeal of Liberty
45
Flight from Freedom
50
Masses and Minorities
55
Why Liberty?
61
The Value of Truth
68
Individual Society Community
76
Righteousness and Receptivity
83
Justification and the Life of Liberty
89
Personalism
99
Reason Faith and Persons
104
The Question of Personal Dignity
106
Reason Faith and Personal Dignity
109
The Idea of Destiny
120
The Flawed Society
129
Liberty against Itself
135
Liberty and Equality
141
The Dangerous Passion for Purity
146
The Lure of Withdrawal
153
The Liberal Stance
158
Standing Together
162
Solitude and Private Property
171
Liberty and Character
180
Dialogue
188
Reason and Dialogue
193
Faith and Dialogue
198
The Mystery of Being
207
Evanescent Elites and Occasional Authorities
262
Church Culture and Politics
269
Church and State
274
Universality History
279
History and Destiny
283
Taking Part in History
291
The Consummate Community
296
Character and the Prophetic Stance
299
Limits on Liberty
304
The Spirit of Liberty and Education
307
The Fantasy of Limitless Liberty
311
The Issue
315
The Rule of Universality
320
The Rule of Liberality
324
The Rule of Proportionality
329
The Rule of Enforceability
331
Society Community and Coercion
335
Liberation Action and Suffering
341
Liberty and Suffering
347
The Unsheltered Society
354
Character as the Capacity for Waiting
358
Liberty and the Last Things
363
God Is Light
374
Ecce Homo
382
Liberty and Hope
387
Index
392
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Page 19 - For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
Page 24 - No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

About the author (2007)

Glenn Tinder is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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