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Political TheologiesPublic Religions in a Post-Secular World$
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Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226443

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226443.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Saint John: The Miracle of Secular Reason

Saint John: The Miracle of Secular Reason

(p.341) Saint John: The Miracle of Secular Reason
Political Theologies

Matthew Scherer

Fordham University Press

Miracles stand at the center of a complex relation between faith and reason. It is at this intersection that miracles take on their most political valence: as Thomas Hobbes recognized, deciding upon the truth or falsity of a miraculous event is a function of authority, on the one hand, but, on the other—as can be seen in the cases of prophets, apostles, and saints—miracles themselves produce authority, serving as warrants for the legitimacy of the figures who perform them. This chapter articulates the problem of miraculous events and examines John Rawls's theory of justice. It focuses on how ways of life, modes of acknowledgment, and forms of loyalty enable and structure the experience of the political in a fashion that interpretations of utilitarianism, political liberalism, communicative rationality, and rational choice cannot, for conceptual reasons, appreciate. It argues that motifs such as saintliness—and, in addition, the miraculous, faith in shared concepts, and belief in the world—form the very heart and fabric of political experience.

Keywords:   John Rawls, justice, miracles, saints, saintliness, reason, faith, political liberalism, utilitarianism, rational choice

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