Kile Jones, a Ph.D. student at the Claremont School of Theology, has a review of William Connolly’s Why I Am Not a Secularist up at State of Formation, in which he “argue[s] why some of [Connolly’s] key positions are admirable, but that some of the conclusions he draws from them are not.” A snippet:
For all his talk about “engagement,” “acknowledgement,” and “respect,” Connolly almost completely ignores the evident problems with religious organizations and religious beliefs. It would be ideal if different persons and constituencies could move past their “visceral register,” admit the contestability of their deeply-help beliefs and assumptions, and hear each other out. What happens in the real world is something completely different. Freedom entails difference; difference entails deep-seated disagreements, disagreements that will not be remedied. The agonistic model of discourse is more civil and convivial, but the antagonism that exists between certain persons and groups may be inevitable. If Connolly’s model were put into practice, deep pluralism would be cloaked with superficiality and inauthentic congeniality. By seeking to provide answers to the problems facing a radically diverse society, Connolly may actually be working against deep pluralism.
Read the complete review essay here.