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Political Theory and the Conduct of Faith: Oakeshott on Religion in Public Life

Abstract

This article examines Michael Oakeshott's peculiar understanding of religion and its connection to politics and public affairs in democratic societies. It considers Oakeshott's views on both the prominence of religion as an expression of practical life, and the conciliatory role of the religious imagination in human existence. Upon inspection, Oakeshott's notion of a reconciled form of religiosity appears to be devised to speak to problems of religious enthusiasm in liberal democracies. Oakeshott's response to challenges of religious enthusiasm is insufficient and problematic, however, as is the conservative disposition he advocates for individual persons in democratic polities.

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Swaine, L. Political Theory and the Conduct of Faith: Oakeshott on Religion in Public Life. Contemp Polit Theory 4, 63–82 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300123

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300123

Keywords

  • Oakeshott
  • religion
  • liberalism
  • conservatism
  • political theory
  • political philosophy