Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Democratic Religion from Locke to Obama: Faith and the Civic Life of Democracy

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Democratic Religion from Locke to Obama: Faith and the Civic Life of Democracy

Article excerpt

Democratic Religion from Locke to Obama: Faith and the Civic Life of Democracy. By Giorgi Areshidze. (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2016, Pp. 213. $29.95.)

The author's general style seems to be that of one solving a jigsaw puzzle by picking up somewhat random pieces of the puzzle in a non-linear manner and looking for a place to fit them together to form a picture only the author has in mind. He seems to be pursuing a process of pairing one thinker against another (e.g., John Rawls and John Locke, Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln, Jürgen Habermas and Alexis de Tocqueville), while Martin Luther King, Jr. is compared to all in general, and none. The topic is the nature and role of organized religion in a theoretical democratic state. At the end of a series of detailed, and often bewildering details in differing political philosophies, Areshidze comes to a brief concluding chapter. Rather than state his own conclusions, he cites a study of religion in America. He ably presents the conclusions of the study as being that the authors are unable to define the relationships and implications. In short, using the findings of others, Areshidze comes to a definite "we do not know." So apparently, there was no organizing picture from the beginning.

Unfortunately, both the writing style and the analyses are dense and difficult to follow. As an example, one page (74) has two different sentences which occupy 5 lines of text, and consist of more than 60 words each. …

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