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Pre-Political Foundations of the Democratic Constitutional State - Europe and the Habermas-Ratzinger Debate

Pablo Cristóbal Jiménez Lobeira

University of Notre Dame Australia; Centre for European Studies (ANU)

July 2, 2010

In 2004 Jürgen Habermas and Joseph Ratzinger participated on a debate on the ‘pre-political moral foundations of a free-state’. Their contributions showed broad agreement on the role of religion in today’s Western secular state and areas of collaboration and mutual enrichment between Modernity and Christianity in Europe and elsewhere. They diverged regarding the need or not of a common cultural background prior to the existence of the polity. Their diverging point becomes all the more fascinating to extent that the matter needs far more research (including empirical studies) to be settled. Nevertheless, the implications that derive from one or the other possibility are very different in normative terms and translate into different criteria for such policies as crucial as immigration and citizenship. This is already clear in Europe and is becoming more evident in other Western democracies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: Christianity, European, Modernity, Muslim immigration, Pre-political foundations of the constitutional state, Western liberal democracies

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Date posted: July 2, 2010 ; Last revised: July 25, 2010

Suggested Citation

Jiménez Lobeira, Pablo Cristóbal, Pre-Political Foundations of the Democratic Constitutional State - Europe and the Habermas-Ratzinger Debate (July 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1633715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1633715

Contact Information

Pablo Cristóbal Jiménez Lobeira (Contact Author)
University of Notre Dame Australia ( email )
HOME PAGE: http://www.nd.edu.au/research/ies/home
Centre for European Studies (ANU) ( email )
HOME PAGE: http://ces.anu.edu.au/
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