Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays
June 2008, Polity
The tension between naturalism and religion is the central theme of this major new book by Jürgen Habermas. On the one hand he argues for an appropriate naturalistic understanding of cultural evolution that does justice to the normative character of the human mind. On the other hand, he calls for an appropriate interpretation of the secularizing effects of a process of social and cultural rationalization increasingly denounced by the champions of religious orthodoxies as a historical development peculiar to the West. These reflections on the enduring importance of religion and the limits of secularism under conditions of postmetaphysical reason set the scene for an extended treatment of the political significance of religious tolerance and for a fresh contribution to current debates on cosmopolitanism and a constitution for international society.
- A major new book by one of the leading philosophers and social
thinkers in the world today.
- This book examines the tension between the spread of
naturalistic views (exemplified by the rise of biogenetics), on the
one hand, and the rise of religious orthodoxies and revitalization
of religious traditions, on the other.
- Habermas develops a distinctive argument about the enduring
significance of religion in modern societies and the importance of
- Provides a fresh contribution to current debates on cosmopolitanism and a constitution for international society.
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
"[T]here is a rich material for reflection in these essays for those interested in a variety of topics, ranging from philosophy of mind, questions of determinism and free will, the history of modern philosophy, and problems of truth and meaning to the nature of democracy and the possibilities of a new world order. Habermas manages to integrate his discussion of these diverse problems in a way which is regrettably not common in English-speaking philosophy, and for this reason above all this is a book which is well worth reading."
"The volume will be of interest to all students of social, moral and political philosophy as well as philosophy of religion and philosophy of science."
Marx and Philosophy
"A major study by a prominent German philosopher reflecting on the tension between the spread of naturalistic worldviews and the revival of religious orthodoxies and their political influence ... the arguments elucidated are significant for our time."
Scientific and Medical Network