Democratic Professionalism:of Secularism The Folly Sharing Authority in Civic Life Albert W. Dzur Jeffrey Stout Lenin and Mao were unrestricted secularists; they sought to Many people who care about democratic practices and instiminimize the influence of religion on all aspects of human life. tutions are worried by the power of the religious right in the They considered religion essentially irrational and politically United States and the rise of militant Islam elsewhere.1 They regressive, so they sought to eradicate it. Their antipathy for relifear that democracy will give way to theocracy if these forces gion went hand in hand with their reluctance to trust the masses triumph, and they want to know how to prevent this from hapwith political power. Democracy will become justifiable, accordpening. One increasingly popular answer to this question is ing to Lenin and Mao, only when religious false consciousness secularist. It says that striving to minimize the influence of and similarly retrograde tendencies have been overcome. Until religion on politics is essential to the defense of democracy. then, the revolutionary avant-garde must exercise political My purpose in this essay is to raise doubts about the wisdom 2 authority on the people's behalf. of this answer.
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 13, 2010
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