Secular Fundamentalism and Democracy
Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 81-93, Spring 2005
Posted: 16 Jun 2006
This article critiques the view, which may be termed secular fundamentalism, that democracy requires religious arguments and religious believers to be excluded from political discourse. Two objections are raised against secular fundamentalism: First, it is premised on a flawed reading of the historical record that assumes religion and democracy are incompatible; second, it falsely assumes a stark division between religious (irrational) and secular (rational) reasons. The article goes on to propound a democratic model of church-state relations, premised on the "twin tolerations" and priority for democracy. Finally, it is suggested that, in certain polities at least, stable democracy may require a religiously coherent rationale.
Keywords: secularism, democracy, religion
JEL Classification: D720, Z120
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation