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Religious Voices in Public Places$
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Nigel Biggar and Linda Hogan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566624

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566624.001.0001

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Christian Hope and Public Reason

Christian Hope and Public Reason

(p.131) 6 Christian Hope and Public Reason
Religious Voices in Public Places

Robert Gascoigne

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the relationship between Christian hope and public reason, especially as articulated in John Rawls's essay ‘The Idea of Public Reason Revisited’. With reference to Matthew 25, it argues that Christian hope goes beyond history, but that Christian love is expressed within history and that this tension can be the source of a specifically Christian service to democratic societies. Hope is crucial to the ethical life of democratic societies in three particular ways: it inspires a discernment of human capacities which evokes moral virtue; maintains a conviction of the openness of the future to human striving; and teaches a certain detachment from the fruits of that striving. The chapter considers how Christian hope can serve this public political hope while at the same time maintaining a distinctively Christian identity, focussing on the use of the religious language of hope by Christians in the public political forum.

Keywords:   Christian hope, Christian love, Matthew 25, public reason, Rawls, public political forum, religious language

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