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Call for Papers: Beyond Habermas? A Special Issue of “The European Legacy”

The editors of The European Legacy, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, invite abstract and article submissions for a special issue entitled, “Beyond Habermas? Critical Theory, Political Theology, and Interreligious Dialogue.”

Habermas’ postsecular perspective of socio-political integration has had a marked influence on the debate surrounding the place of religion in present-day democracies. However, as democracies are beset by “hyperpluralism” (Ferrara), interfaith challenges and a new wave of fundamentalist violence, Habermas´ vision of (non)religious citizens engaging in a process of learning and reconciliation through translations is in need of reconsideration. While Habermas has constantly refined the public reason approach, his vision runs into difficulties that are partly explained by the prevalent Judeo-Christian background and the influence of Kantian rationalism. To what extent, then, is the plurality of political theological heritages and contexts—Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and other religious traditions—significant for democratic theory today, for broadening and redefining the public reason approach and critical theory? Is translation a useful tool for understanding the complexities of the interaction between religion and democracy? Should critical theory be more direct when addressing the issues of faith, holiness, and Messianism; topics that Habermas excludes from the philosophical domain? In addition, in his later writings, Habermas does not satisfactorily reflect on the issue of the relation between religion, violence, and socio-economic domination. The conundrum is, then, to what extent a renewed critical theory of religion could address such problems. Although one of Habermas’ primary concerns has indeed been the European political project, the connection between his European interventions, the religious “turn” and critical theorizing remain insufficiently explored.

The aim of this Special Issue of The European Legacy is to take stock of the implications of the Habermasian changing view of religion in conditions of “galloping pluralism” (Taylor). We are interested in original articles on capacity of the Habermasian approach in meeting the normative and practical challenges of integration in and transformation of democratic societies.

The editors of the special issue will consider abstracts and articles on the following themes (the list is not exhaustive):

  • The challenge of political theology to Habermas´ deliberative paradigm.
  • Forms of modernization and secularity: public reason, translation, and the plurality of religious traditions.
  • Translation, interpretation, and interfaith dialogue
  • Communicative action, validity claims, and religion.
  • Religious imagination and democratic transformation
  • Religion and, genealogies of reason and visions of the Axial Age.
  • Habermas’ changing vision of communicative action, secularization in Europe and beyond Europe.
  • The critique of ideology, violence, and religion after Habermas: rethinking a critical theory of religion.
  • Comparative analyses of Habermas’ view and its various alternatives both in the analytical tradition and continental traditions (, J. Rawls, R. Dworkin, M. Foucault, J. Derrida, Ch. Taylor, M. Cooke, Al. Ferrara, R. Dworkin, etc.).
  • Deliberation, interreligious dialogue, and the limits of integration.

Extended Deadline: 07/03/2016 (the special issue is scheduled to appear in 2016). Scholars who intend to write for the special issue are recommended to send out abstracts in advance to camil.ungureanu@upf.edu and paolo.monti@unicatt.it

Papers should be around 8000 words, and should follow the Guidelines of The European Legacy. The papers should be sent to the two Guest Editors.

Guest Editors: Camil Ungureanu (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) & Paolo Monti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore).

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