Relativism and Religion: Why Democratic Societies Do Not Need Moral Absolutes

Relativism and Religion: Why Democratic Societies Do Not Need Moral Absolutes

by Carlo Accetti

Hardcover

$75.00
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, June 29

Overview

Moral relativism is deeply troubling for those who believe that, without a set of moral absolutes, democratic societies will devolve into tyranny or totalitarianism. Engaging directly with this claim, Carlo Invernizzi Accetti traces the roots of contemporary anti-relativist fears to the antimodern rhetoric of the Catholic Church and then rescues a form of philosophical relativism for modern, pluralist societies, arguing that this viewpoint provides the firmest foundation for an allegiance to democracy.

In his analyses of the relationship between religious arguments and political authority and the implications of philosophical relativism for democratic theory, Accetti makes a far-ranging contribution to contemporary debates over the revival of religion in politics and the conceptual grounds for a commitment to democracy. He presents the first comprehensive genealogy of anti-relativist discourse and reclaims for English-speaking readers the overlooked work of Hans Kelsen on the connection between relativism and democracy. By engaging with contemporary attempts to replace the religious foundation of democratic values with a neo-Kantian conception of reason, Accetti also makes a powerful case for relativism as the best basis for a civic ethos that integrates different perspectives into democratic politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231170789
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/10/2015
Series: Religion, Culture, and Public Life , #25
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carlo Invernizzi Accetti is an assistant professor of political theory at City College, City University of New York, and an associate researcher at the Center for European Studies of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Discourse of Anti-Relativism in the Political Thought of the Catholic Church
2. Elements for a Public Critique of the Catholic Discourse of Anti-Relativism
3. Rationalism: Between Relativism and Religion
4. Defense of a Relativist Conception of Democracy
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Customer Reviews