Why I am Not a Secularist Paperback – 1 May 1999
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
William E. Connolly is editor of Political Theory and Professor of Political Science at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. His books include The Terms of Political Discourse (1974, second edition 1983), Appearance and Reality in Politics (1981) and Politics and Ambiguity (1987), and he co-edits with Steven Lukes the series Readings in Social and Political Theory (published by Basil Blackwell and New York University Press).
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Although Connolly is seeking to redefine the secular in a manner which removes it from its historical opposition to religion he seems to miss the crucial point that politics and religion prior to Kant were indistinguishable aspects of the same political phenomenon. Although he acknowledges the politics of becoming, i.e. the development of groups and ideas as meaningful pieces of changing democracies and their discourse, he separates liberal theory, secular practice and the role of religion in public life in a manner which fails to recognise their integrated nature.
To demonstrate the applicability of changes in the manner in which political problems may be resolved Connolly takes two issues - the drugs/culture wars and capital punishment.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
By the title, Connolly, who admits that he is a secular liberal, declares himself not to be a secular-ist, in the sense of a dogmatic, close minded person who will not be happy until every vestige of religiosity is removed from the public square. It is refreshing that Connolly makes this admission, rather than pretending that he has no ideology, only his adversaries do. He tries to create a space where dialogue can occur between secularists and religionists. He does so partly out of concern for his own side, the secularists, because he thinks that the religionists have 'stolen' the visceral, passionate side to many public arguments, while liberals are then 'stuck' with the merely rational arguments, although this is at best a backhanded compliment to the religious.
Connolly, citing John Mill and others, shows how the enlightenment did develop, only could have developed, and still lives off of the moral capital, of the Christendom it replaced.
In chapter 6, entitled "An Ethos of Engagement," Connolly proposes various exercises which he hopes would create better dialogue between secularists and religionists, rather than the dialogue of the deaf which we now have. He calls for more openness, to admitting that some or all of your own beliefs are contestable and desanctifiable. Fine. But then on pp. 146-147, he gives only one example, a lengthy description of how one who began the engagement rock solid against assisted suicide could become more 'open' to it, until you are positively for assisted suicide. No examples of anyone entertaining liberal positions transcending them to become more conservative. Lest one doubt Connolly's left credentials, there are extended chapters against capital punishment and William Bennett, not to say the former for the latter!
If you can find this in a library, read the introduction and first chapter; the rest is predictable liberal micro-politics.
However, it behooves Western religionists to sympathize more with its 'child', enlightened secularism, and their mutual grandchildren, the physical sciences, representative democracy, the use of reason and not blind fideism.
And it behooves Western secularists to be more appreciate of Western religionists, who are of a benign variety and who have long given up the idea of forcibly controlling those area of society properly secular, as mandated in the Catholic church since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's, so as better to understand and withstand a culture which makes no such concessions, like Islam.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Philosophy
- Books > Science & Nature > History & Philosophy > Reference
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Academic Philosophy
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Academic Sociology
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Philosophy
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences