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Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized? [Paperback]

Roger Trigg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Mar 2008
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 sphere? 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

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Product details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (13 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199543674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199543670
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This is as robust a defence of the claim of religious faith to be heard in the public square as one could wish. The stance is orthodox Chrisitan; the voice is the voice of sanity and calm reason. The book is an antidote to the unthinking political correctness with which we are regaled day by day government ministers and sections of the media. It is truly a tract for our times... [a] courteous but devastating polemic (Paul Avis, Ecclesiastical Law Journal)

An important book on a vital issue (Peter Costello The Irish Catholic)

About the Author

Roger Trigg is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can religion be part of the public sphere? 17 Dec 2007
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book looks at the position of religion in public life in the pluralist societies in which we now live. Roger Trigg considers whether diversity and tolerance mean that religion, and its emphasis on being 'the truth', cannot be publicly encouraged. Despite this book being about 'religion' it focuses almost exclusively on Christianity and how religion and state interact in within Western nations (mainly the UK, France, Canada and the USA). He offers examples from many different areas, including the established church in the UK, the separation of church and state in the US, Canada's multicultural legacy, Christian education, the church and the law and more. There is also a fascinating chapter that focuses on some specific religious organisations and how they have had to fight for liberty to practice their religion as they wish, including Christian Scientists, the Amish and and Islamic people wanting to wear their traditional dress.

There were frequent footnotes which referenced other authors on the subjects and this would provide a good basis for further study. The writing style was clear but sometimes a little wordy and it didn't keep my attention as well as the subject matter offered. Trigg's conclusion, that religion is an important part of public life, was thoroughly argued but I wasn't always convinced by his views and felt that some of the examples and opinions he gave were rather too one-sided.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault it 30 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Had to buy this book for University but I was really glad that it was available cheaply from this store, unlike most of my other books. It's quite an interesting read. Not laid out in the way I'm used to. But I have to say it helped when it came to essay time. Couldn't fault the quality or the packaging and it arrived in perfect time.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can religion be part of the public sphere? 17 Dec 2007
By Helen Hancox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book looks at the position of religion in public life in the pluralist societies in which we now live. Roger Trigg considers whether diversity and tolerance mean that religion, and its emphasis on being 'the truth', cannot be publicly encouraged. Despite this book being about 'religion' it focuses almost exclusively on Christianity and how religion and state interact in within Western nations (mainly the UK, France, Canada and the USA). He offers examples from many different areas, including the established church in the UK, the separation of church and state in the US, Canada's multicultural legacy, Christian education, the church and the law and more. There is also a fascinating chapter that focuses on some specific religious organisations and how they have had to fight for liberty to practice their religion as they wish, including Christian Scientists, the Amish and and Islamic people wanting to wear their traditional dress.

There were frequent footnotes which referenced other authors on the subjects and this would provide a good basis for further study. The writing style was clear but sometimes a little wordy and it didn't keep my attention as well as the subject matter offered. Trigg's conclusion, that religion is an important part of public life, was thoroughly argued but I wasn't always convinced by his views and felt that some of the examples and opinions he gave were rather too one-sided.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NO Seperation of Church & State 31 Jan 2012
By Seven - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams

I will freely admit that I have not read this book in it's entirety, however, I would like to note that the author presumes that the U.S. Constitution has a clause of 'Seperation of Church & State'. If he, or any of you, have ever read the Constitution, you will find no such clause, article, or amendment alluding to any addressing such. The very Declaration of Independence states:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable [God-given] Rights..."

I will continue to read the book, but with a pound of salt. If the premise to the chapter in the author's book on the U.S. is already faulty, then I will be more alert to be sure the premises on each chapter for other countries are not equally as faulty.

In the Bill of Rights of the U.S. it states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

So whether other cultures or countries try to inhibit, infringe or even ban peoples religious beliefs. It was that very notion which led these people to find another land so they could practice their faith freely. To live it without limitation or fear of prosecution. If anyone knows anything about U.S. history they would know by trying to do those things in this country would be undermining one of the pillars the U.S. was based upon. This goes along with "Freedom of speech". If someone does not like what you have to say you do not have to fear any kind of retribution by others...you are protected. So you can proclaim your faith in public and out loud. If you do not agree with a person's faith. It's simple. You walk away. Because if one tries to take their freedom, what's to stop them from taking yours? Thing long term people, not just on the immediate consequences.
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