Mahmoud Masaeli, Nikolaos Asproulis, Rico Sneller & Timo Slootweg (eds.)
Faith in Democracy. Justice, Politics and Transcendence
978 94 6371 189 0
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This book explores the spiritual potential of faith, mysticism and transcendence in answer to the dangers of a mythologised state and the sacro-sanctification of (liberal) democracy and its rule of law. It searches for a curative for the pathological transformation of these institutions into – so called – political religions. Along this line, it explores the importance of spirituality and transcendence for political legitimacy, democratic participation and international cooperation, law and politics.
There being no general agreed-upon definition of ‘spirituality’, the authors examine what may be seen as ‘spiritual’ dimensions of the political. These dimensions have in common a focus on transcendence as a vanishing point of rationality and rational justification. This vanishing point may become manifest, for example, in a primordial requisite of becoming an individual person; in responding – in freedom – to the call of theocracy; in the phenomenon of prophecy or political wisdom; in the remaining shards of formerly all-pervasive religious institutions; in tenacious hope for a democracy-to-come; in the courageous resilience and resistance of citizens of ‘non-’ or ‘un-democratic’ states; etc.
The authors of this book, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, jurists and others, are more or less suspicious of the Modern theories of the social contract allegedly justifying democracy. It may turn out, however, that the inexhaustive and unfathomable dimension of ‘faith’ which comes up as an alternative is not so easy to handle as a ‘rational argument’. This ‘impracticality’ of faith and transcendence might be the irreducible yet indispensable predicament of democracy.
Mahmoud Masaeli is the Executive Director of Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns – APGC. His area of research and teaching interests are global ethics, global development, human wellbeing, universal spirituality, and human rights.
Nikolaos Asproulis is Deputy Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University and member of the International Advisory Board of Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns – APGC.
Rico Sneller is a philosopher and vice president of Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns – APGC. His research interests include philosophy of life, critique of rationality, and altered states of consciousness.
Timo Slootweg studied Philosophy and History and wrote his thesis on the subject of Historical Consciousness. He teaches Philosophy of Law and Ethics at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands). His current research interests are theology of law, law and literature, aesthetics of law and morality, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger.
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