Jonathan Bowman

Extending Habermas and Ratzinger's Dialectics of Secularization: Eastern Discursive Influences on Faith and Reason in a Postsecular Age

14/1 - Spring 2009, pages 39–55
Date of online publication: 15 juin 2009
Date of publication: 01 juin 2009


In the unlikely confluence of two colossal intellectual heritages, neo-Kantian Jürgen Habermas and Catholic prelate Joseph Ratzinger agree that we have entered a post-secular age. For both, the inauguration of such an age entails skepticism towards absolutist science and a growing recognition of the contributions of spiritual worldviews to social solidarity. Following their call for a multifaceted purification in the West whereby secular and religious commitments are subjected to mutual critique, I explore potential Eastern contributions to this process by providing a micro-analysis of the interaction of discursive subjects in three traditions: for Confucianism, the rectification of names; Taoism, truth disclosure; and Buddhism, right speech.


Cite this article

Bowman, Jonathan. “Extending Habermas and Ratzinger's Dialectics of Secularization: Eastern Discursive Influences on Faith and Reason in a Postsecular Age.” Forum Philosophicum 14, no. 1 (2009): 39–55. doi: 10.5840/forphil200914119.


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