For over twenty years, Paul Weithman has explored the thought of John Rawls to ask how liberalism can secure the principled allegiance of those people whom Rawls called 'citizens of faith'. This volume brings together ten of his major essays (including one new unpublished essay), which reflect on the task and political character of political philosophy, the ways in which liberalism does and does not privatize religion, the role of liberal legitimacy in Rawls's theory, and the requirements of public reason. The essays reveal Rawls as a thinker deeply engaged with political and existential questions that trouble citizens of faith, and explore how - in firm opposition to political realism - he tries to show that the possibility of liberal democracy and the natural goodness of humanity are objects of reasonable faith. The volume will be of interest to political philosophers, political theorists, moral theologians, and religious ethicists.
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Works by John Rawls; Introduction; Part I. The Undergraduate Thesis: 1. On John Rawls's A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith; Part II. From Theory to Political Liberalism: 2. John Rawls and the task of political philosophy; 3. Rawlsian liberalism and the privatization of religion: three theological objections considered; 4. Liberalism and the political character of political philosophy; 5. Legitimacy and the project of political liberalism; Part III. Public Reason and its Role: 6. Citizenship and public reason; 7. Inclusivism, stability and assurance; 8. Convergence and political autonomy; Part IV. Rawls, Realism and Reasonable Faith: 9. Law of peoples and Christian realism; 10. Does justice as fairness have a religious aspect?; Acknowledgements; Bibliography; Index.
'Detailed, methodical ... Weithman makes a largely convincing argument that Rawls's 'political turn,' if it was ever a turn at all, is not what the standard interpretation of it has made it out to be ... Highly recommended.' Choice
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