What role does sacredness play in the secular politics of the liberal democracies of the United States and Europe today? One approach, focusing on the sources of political unity, suggests that they are integrated by a kind of civil religion, however flawed. This suggestion is criticized empirically as ever less plausible and as blind to the currently feasible limits of social solidarity. A second approach, focusing on the growing democratic crisis of liberal democracies due to ever-deepening social divisions, leads to the suggestion that sacredness is increasingly at work in secular politics. As attachment to organized religion declines so does the public deliberation and negotiation of conflicting interests-the arguing and the bargaining that democracy requires.
- Civil religion
- arguing and bargaining
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science