Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status
Place of publication
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
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.