The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America (Google eBook)
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. "The naked public square"--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 America's 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 God's 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 believer's respect for nonbelievers is not a compromise but a requirement of the believer's faith. Similarly, the democratic rights of those outside the 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 Lincoln's 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 AmericaUser 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 AmericaUser 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
Public Religion and Public Reason
Turning America Around
Critical Patriotism and the Civil Community
The Vulnerability of the Naked Square
Denying Who We Are
The Morality of Compromise
Private Morality Public Virtue
Invoking the Nightmares We Fear
A Proposition on Trial
The Captivities of the Mainline
For the World against the World
Class Warfare among the Saints
Law and the Experiment Renewes
The Purloined Authority of the State