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Religious Ideas: Should They Be Critically Engaged or Given a Pass?

Religious Ideas: Should They Be Critically Engaged or Given a Pass?

Chapter:
(p.199) Chapter 10 Religious Ideas: Should They Be Critically Engaged or Given a Pass?
Source:
After Cloven Tongues of Fire
Author(s):
David A. Hollinger
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158426.003.0010

This chapter considers the role of religion in politics. It expresses frustration with the trap that many faith-affirming politicians have increasingly sprung on doubters: “If elected to office I will act in keeping with my religious faith, but any journalist or rival politician who asks a skeptical question about my faith is biased against religion.” Religious ideas are thus sheltered from the public, critical scrutiny to which other ideas are commonly subject. The chapter also pushes religious liberals to argue more forthrightly than is common nowadays with rival voices within their own communities of faith. Perhaps religious liberals could diminish the standing of ignorant and obscurantist ideas, and encourage faiths consistent with modern standards of cognitive plausibility.

Keywords:   religion, politics, faith, religious liberals

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