Western moral and political theory in the last two centuries has widely held that morality and politics are independent of a divine reality. Claiming that this consensus is flawed, prominent theologian Franklin I. Gamwell argues that there is a necessary relation between moral worth and belief in God. Without appealing to the beliefs of any specific religion, Gamwell defends a return to the view that moral and political principles depend on a divine purpose. To separate politics from the divine misrepresents the distinctive character of human freedom, Gamwell maintains, and thus prevents a full understanding of the nature of justice. Principles of justice define "democracy on purpose" as the political form in which we pursue the divine good. Engaging in a dialogue with such major representatives of the dominant consensus as Kant, Habermas, and Rawls, and informed by the philosophical writings of Alfred North Whitehead, this book makes the case for a neoclassical metaphysics that restores a religious sensibility to our political life.
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
A most worthwhile addition to any college or university library. Religious Studies Review Democracy on Purpose succeeds in redeeming the claim that metaphysical theism is a necessary basis for political theory, and in showing that 'democracy depends on a divine purpose' favoring justice. This is a uniquely important contribution to political theory and an appropriate follow-up to his redemption of claims for the necessity of metaphysical theism in moral theology. Journal of Religion