Academic journal article Theological Studies

Civil Disagreement: Personal Integrity in a Pluralistic Society

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Civil Disagreement: Personal Integrity in a Pluralistic Society

Article excerpt

Civil Disagreement: Personal Integrity in a Pluralistic Society. By Edward Langerak. Washington: Georgetown University, 2014. Pp. ix + 170. $29.95.

Treating disagreement as a fact of contemporary pluralism, Langerak persuasively argues that mutual toleration is both theoretically justified and pragmatically appropriate when conflicting claims arise. With an accessible style and cogent progression of ideas, L.'s book would be particularly well suited for an undergraduate classroom, although perhaps primarily at the introductory level, for L. seems to assume an audience without much prior exposure to political philosophy or theology. At the same time, lengthy discursive notes situate many of L.'s claims within more nuanced debates in both fields, providing additional resources for those inclined to pursue further research.

Some of L.'s best work is found in the first two chapters, where he discusses the emergence of competing truth claims and defends "perspective pluralism" (51) as a balanced response that allows one to maintain one's own convictions as true (contra epistemic relativism), while simultaneously accepting that another person might reasonably, albeit wrongly, arrive at an opposing position. …

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