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Differentiated Responsibility and the Challenge of Religious Diversity

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Abstract

Avery Dulles is careful to distinguish between religious liberty, which is a positive good commended to us by a succession of recent papal encyclicals, and religious pluralism, which is an empirical reality that is far from good in itself and indeed could threaten to rend the fabric of society through its centrifugal tendencies. In response to this pluralism, Dulles suggests, following John Courtney Murray, that only a broad consensus on a national civil religion can prevent its fragmenting effects from going too far. He thus laments the recent erosion of this consensus and fears its long-term possible consequences. In response to Dulles, I will do three things: first, to explore religious diversity and the varying approaches that people take to it; second, to indicate how an understanding of what might be called differentiated responsibility helps us to articulate a proper political approach to this diversity; and, finally, to sound a note of hope for the future in the midst of our present crisis of fragmentation.

David T. Koyzis, "Differentiated Responsibility and the Challenge of Religious Diversity," Journal of Markets & Morality 5, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 199-207


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