The struggle for liberal democracy, individual freedom, and human and political rights historically has depended upon the moral codes of Western civilization rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. However in an increasing pluralistic and secular world, those codes are difficult to maintain. Without a consensus on values and the exercise of individual responsibility, liberal democratic societies and the human and political values they enshrine may become imperilled.
The problem of the relationship between morality and the liberal democratic state is examined in this volume from the perspectives of democratic theory, traditional religion, the modern state, and the evolution of religion in the post-communist world.
In the first section, on democratic theory, professors R.A.D. Grant, David Levy, Michael Perry, and Morton A. Kaplan discuss the theoretical relationship between moral values and the democratic state.
In the second section Gershon Weiler, Batista Jean Mondin, and Dean Kelley discuss the historical struggles of Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism with and within liberal democratic societies. The inconsistencies of many traditional religious perspectives with a culturally pluralistic society are examined.
In the following section, A. James Reichley discusses the pluralist experiment in America; George Weigle sees a new opportunity for the Catholic Church in America; John Carroll discusses the tensions of modern liberalism with culture in general; and Alain Besancon discusses the Catholic church in Europe. Possibilities for the resolution of religious perspectives within pluralistic and liberal democratic societies are examined by scholars who want both to be faithful to their traditions and to integrate them into modern democracies.
In the penultimate section of the book, Roger Scruton analyzes problems of sexual morality and identity and the liberal consensus; Geoffrey Partington discusses how the purge of traditional moral training from the public schools in liberal democracies led to inadequate character development of our youth and the outrage of parents. Morton A. Kaplan shows how the so-called "right to be left alone" is invoked by the courts in a way that is destructive to social health.
In the concluding section, Milowit Kuninski looks at the future of religion in former communist societies in which both official atheism and world consciousness were instilled by state ideology. Gordon Anderson discusses the evolution of religion and the value instruction in schools in the pluralistic societies of the global democratic community that is emerging as the 21st century approaches.