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Revitalizing US Civil Society by Reconceptualizing Civil Religion and Its Virtues

  • Rosemary P. Carbine
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Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)

Abstract

US civil society is arguably in decline if not effectively endangered. Civil society refers to a shared associational and discursive space of political inquiry, deliberation, and decision making among all citizens with different viewpoints about pressing issues that confront our common life and that connect to the common good. According to theologians and ethicists such as David Tracy, Francis Fiorenza, Jeffrey Stout, and Rebecca Chopp (Carbine 2006), practices that foster civil society in an increasingly pluralistic global setting are intertwined with civic virtues of mutual respect for the life, liberty, and equality of others, especially religious others. These virtues ground and emerge from the giving and exchanging of arguments, listening to and speaking with others in publicly accessible ways that recognize but bridge religious differences, and a willingness to consent to, dissent from, and/or risk a changed opinion about matters of common concern. By contrast, judging from recent political trends, US political discourse and public life are currently fractured, marked by a culture of labels and lies, which eviscerates civil society and its virtues.

Keywords

Civil Society Common Good Civic Virtue Civil Religion Pluralistic Democracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, and Rosemary P. Carbine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary P. Carbine

There are no affiliations available

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