On Human Experiences and Cultural PracticesPragmatism, Democracy, and Religion

Abstract

In the current discourse of political philosophy, religions are frequently interpreted as systems of beliefs. However, from a liberal perspective, religions are permitted to contribute to the democratic deliberation on the condition that they are translated into secular idioms. In contrast, and by referring back to (neo-)pragmatist theories, this paper strives to argue that religions should be construed as social and cultural practices in order to deal with religious experiences. On this basis, the political location of religion can be redefined: Given this renewed perspective, religion no longer needs to be excluded as merely private or irrational, but can be understood as a cultural practice that is interconnected with secular beliefs, and that is already and always part of the processes of political deliberation.

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