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Political Liberalism and Religious Claims. Four Blind Spots

Stoeckl, Kristina

This article gives an overview of 4 important lacunae in political liberalism and identifies, in a preliminary fashion, some trends in the literature that can come in for support in filling these blind spots, which prevent political liberalism from a correct assessment of the diverse nature of religious claims. Political liberalism operates with implicit assumptions about religious actors being either ‘liberal’ or ‘fundamentalist’ and ignores a third, in-between group, namely traditionalist religious actors and their claims. After having explained what makes traditionalist religious actors different from liberal and fundamentalist religious actors, the author develops 4 areas in which political liberalism should be pushed further theoretically in order to correctly theorize the challenge which traditional religious actors pose to liberal democracy. These 4 areas (blind spots) are: (1) the context of translation; (2) the politics of exemptions; (3) the multivocality of theology; and (4) the transnational nature of norm-contestation.

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