Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized?

Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized?

Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized?

Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized?

Synopsis

How far can religion play a part in the public sphere, or should it be only a private matter? Roger Trigg examines this question in the context of today's pluralist societies, where many different beliefs clamour for attention. Should we celebrate diversity, or are matters of truth at stake? In particular, can we maintain our love of freedom, while cutting it off from religious roots? In societies in which there are many conflicting beliefs, the place of religion is a growing political issue. Should all religions be equally welcomed in the public square? Favouring one religion over others may appear to be a failure to treat all citizens equally, yet for citizens in many countries their Christian heritage is woven into their way of life. Whether it is the issue of same-sex marriages, the right of French schoolgirls to wear Islamic headscarves, or just the public display of Christmas trees, all societies have to work out a consistent approach to the public influence of religion.

Excerpt

The inspiration for this book stems from time spent at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, while I was on study leave from the University of Warwick. The Center provided an ideal background for work and new ideas. I also received much stimulus from discussions at Princeton University, particularly at meetings sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

As always, I have enormously benefited from the advice and support of my family. I am very grateful to my wife, Julia, my daughter, Dr. Alison Teply, and to my son-in-law, Robert Teply, who have all helped in important ways.

ROGER TRIGG

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