The Agnostic Age
Author: Paul Horwitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Place: Oxford
The Agnostic Age provides a way to understand and balance the conflicts that inevitably arise when neighbors struggle with neighbors, and when liberal democracy tries to reach common ground with religious beliefs and practices.
Paul Horwitz argues that the fundamental reason for the church-state conflict is our aversion to questions of religious truth. By trying to avoid the question of religious truth, law and religion has ultimately only reached a state of incoherence. He asserts that the answer to this dilemma is to take "the agnostic turn": to take an empathetic and imaginative approach to questions of religious truth, one that actually confronts rather than avoids these questions, but without reaching a final judgment about what that truth is.
This book offers a sensitive and sensible approach to questions of church-state conflict, justifying what the courts have done in some cases and demanding new results in others. It explains how the church-state conflict extends beyond law and religion itself, and goes to some of the central questions at the heart of the troubled relationship between religion and liberal democracy in a post-9/11 era.
Table of contentsIntroduction
PART ONE: THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT: THE COLLAPSE OF THE LIBERAL CONSENSUS IN LAW AND SOCIETY
Chapter One: Religion Under Attack/Liberalism Under Attack
Chapter Two: Pilate's Shrug: The Sad Saga of Modern Law and Religion Theory
PART TWO: GETTING TO MAYBE: THE AGNOSTIC TURN
Chapter Three: Empathetic Agnosticism
Chapter Four: The New Commissars of Enlightenment: Of the New Atheists, the Anti-New Atheists, and Agnosticism
Chapter Five: Constitutional Agnosticism
PART THREE: PUTTING CONSTITUTIONAL AGNOSTICISM TO WORK
Chapter Six: Constitutional Agnosticism and Free Exercise of Religion
Chapter Seven: Constitutional Agnosticism and the Establishment Clause: One Nation Under ___?
PART FOUR: CONSTITUTIONAL AGNOSTICISM, RELIGION, AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
Chapter Eight: Easing the Tension . . . But Not Ending It