Returning to Reality. Friendship and Spirituality in the Age of Post-truth Politics. Liberal democracies are facing a moment of truth. Politicians denounce scientific experts for being out touch with popular feelings, and undermine the values of representative democracies in the name of the democratic value of equality. However, a purely egalitarian world would be neither realistic nor desirable. Who would like to be treated by a medical student if he can be treated by a senior surgeon? Democratic as well as scientific communities have always benefited from the recognition that some people are better qualified to perform certain roles than the others. Yet, this requires us to cultivate practices of recognition, acclamation and praise that are consistent with the concern for the common good. In the premodern tradition such practices were rooted in the broader context of liturgical and contemplative practices. Is it possible to recover a ‹politics of friendship and praise› that is consistent with the pluralist framework of a post-secular society?