Stanley Fish, Jurgen Habermas, and the Future of Rationality

In last night’s posting on his New York Times blog, Stanley Fish* wrote that the philosopher/social theorist Jürgen Habermas no longer believes that people can build a world of peaceful coexistence simply by reasoning together, but that the future belongs to those traditions that can bridge the gap between faith and reason.  Fish quotes Habermas and adds a comment:

Jurgen Habermas

“Among the modern societies, only those that are able to introduce into the secular domain the essential contents of their religious traditions which point beyond the merely human realm will also be able to rescue the substance of the human.”

The question of course is what does Habermas mean by “introduce”? How exactly is the cooperation between secular reason and faith to be managed? Habermas attempted to answer that question in the course of a dialogue with four Jesuit academics who met with him in Munich in 2007. The proceedings have now been published in Ciaran Cronin’s English translation (they appeared in German in 2008) under the title “An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-secular Age.”

*Whom some of you know as “Stanley Sturgeon,” as is explained on page 8 of this document 

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