Public Vision, Private Lives: Rousseau, Religion, and 21st-Century Democracy

Mark S Cladis pinpoints the origins of contemporary notions of the public and private and their relationship to religion in the work of Jean Jacques Rousseau His thesis cuts across many fields and issues philosophy of religion women s studies democratic theory modern European history American culture social justice privacy laws and notions of solitude and community and wholly reconsiders the political cultural and legal nature of modernity in relation to religion br br Turning to Rousseau s Garden its inhabitants the Solitaires and the question of restoration and redemption that preoccupied much of Rousseau s thought Cladis examines how Rousseau addressed the tension between the joys and moral obligations of social engagement and the desire for solitude He was caught between two possibilities active involvement in the creation of an enlightened and humane society or extrication from social entanglements in favor of cultivating a spiritual interior life Yet Rousseau did not view this conflict as a desperate division Rather for him it was a moral struggle to be endured by those who had fallen from the Garden br br For this edition Cladis has added a substantive introduction that discusses the role of religion in contemporary democratic societies particularly in American public life Cladis proposes four models of thinking about religion in public and champions what he calls spiritual democracy a dynamic culturally specific and progressive democracy Cladis argues that spiritual democracy refers not only to a society s legal codes and principles but also to its democratic culture and symbols and its daily practices and institutions It encompasses the nation s character diverse identities and a distinctivel exchange between the nation s public vision and citizens complex private lives


Durkheim and Foucault: Perpectives on Education and Punishment

Education and punishment are two crucial sites of the disciplinary society approached by Durkheim and Foucault from different perspectives but also in a shared concern with what kind of society might constitute an emancipatory alternative This collection of essays explores the issues that are involved and that are illuminated through a comparison and contrast of two social theorists who at first sight might seem an unlikely couple Durkheim and Foucault


The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

In i The Elementary Forms of Religious Life i Emile Durkheim sets himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity He investigates what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion totemism among the Aborigines of Australia For Durkheim studying Aboriginal religion was a way to yield an understanding of the religious nature of man by showing us an essential and permanent aspect of humanity The need and capacity of men and women to relate to one another socially lies at the heart of Durkheim s exploration in which religion embodies the beliefs that shape our moral universe br br i The Elementary Forms i has been applauded and debated by sociologists anthropologists ethnographers philosophers and theologians and continues to speak to new generations about the intriguing origin and nature of religion and society This new lightly abridged edition provides an excellent introduction to Durkheim s ideas