International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 203-216

First online:

Religion in a private igloo? A critical dialogue with Richard Rorty

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It is still a popular philosophical position to call for a strict “separationism” concerning the private and the public sphere when it comes to religious convictions. Richard Rorty is one prominent supporter of this claim. The traditional critique against this division is mostly built on a particular characterization of religion that is at odds with Rortian assumptions. In this article, however, Rorty is criticized on his own terms turning pragmatically the objection to a fully internal one. What Rorty values most, namely a tolerant and ironic liberalism as the capacity to describe oneself in new and interesting ways is precisely the role, I argue, that religious faith could play under “neo-liberal” conditions.


Rorty Irony (Neo)liberalism Privacy Public sphere Metaphysics (Self)understanding