From Irony to Robust Serenity – Pragmatic Politics of Religion after Rorty

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Martin Mueller Munich Community College, Germany,

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What is the cash value of Richard Rorty’s philosophy and politics of religion? This paper analyzes the political promise of Rorty’s shift from atheism to anticlericalism in the last decade of his life. It seeks to deliver primarily a concise summary of this shift, and of its transformative motivation. Then a critique of this shift is followed by the suggestion of a friendly amendment: its extension towards a pragmatic pluralism. The outlined Rortyan conception of a serene, and, at the same time robust, politics of religion is proposed as a promising answer to the question of how secular liberal citizens should react to the “return of the gods.”

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