Secular Fundamentalism and Democracy

Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 81-93, Spring 2005

Posted: 16 Jun 2006

See all articles by Richard Ekins

Richard Ekins

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Abstract

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

Ekins, Richard, Secular Fundamentalism and Democracy. Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 81-93, Spring 2005 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=908950

Richard Ekins (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/profile/richard.ekins

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