Rawls’s inclusivism and the case of ‘religious militants for peace’: A reply to Weithman’s restrictive inclusivism

Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 8 (1):13-33 (2018)
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Across almost a decade, Desmond Tutu, Anglican cleric and chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, supported a model of civil resistance against the apartheid regime based solely on religious argument. Tutu is one of what Appleby (2000) calls the “religious militants for peace”: people of faith who use religious arguments to buttress resistance against unjust regimes and to support vital political change with regard to rights and justice. Yet the employment of religious arguments to justify political action seems to contradict the liberal democratic requirements of public reason, particularly the duty of liberal citizens to provide reasons that others could reasonably endorse. If “religious militants” violate their duty of civility by appealing to their comprehensive doctrines, should liberal democracy exclude this form of religiously founded dissent as being unreasonable? Or, rather, should liberal democracy embrace and support the efforts of “religious militants” to enhance and/or restore political justice?

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Valentina Gentile
Luiss Guido Carli


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