Translating the sacred: religion and postsecularism in the recent work of Jürgen Habermas

Rees, Dafydd Huw (2015) Translating the sacred: religion and postsecularism in the recent work of Jürgen Habermas. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis examines the “postsecular turn” taken by the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas since 2001, with a particular focus on his political theory. It argues that the postsecular turn was motivated primarily by the limitations of Habermas’ philosophical paradigm of postmetaphysical thinking. It then analyses his model of postsecular deliberative democracy, and argues that the model should be rejected due to its reliance on an unworkable procedure of sacred-to-secular translation. The thesis is divided into three parts. Part 1 is an analysis of the place of religion in Habermas’ writings on social theory from the 1970s and 1980s. It outlines his original account of religious language, and of the “linguistification of the sacred” which accompanies the transition from traditional to modern societies. Part 2 focuses on Habermas’ paradigm of postmetaphysical thinking, and shows that the paradigm creates the conditions for postmetaphysical thinkers to appropriate religious concepts. It also argues that Habermas’ inability to address the “anthropic problem” in postmetaphysical terms led to his turn to postsecularism. Part 3 examines the model of postsecular deliberative democracy which Habermas has argued for since 2001. Drawing on the accounts of religious language from Part 1 and of appropriation from Part 2, it concludes that the procedure of sacred-to-secular translation on which the model relies is unworkable.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General) > B3258.H32 Habermas, Jürgen
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 11:47
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:49

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