Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship

Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship

This book takes issue with those who would seek to place restrictions on the participation of religious organizations in politics, arguing that their position underestimates the benefits, and overestimates the costs, of having religiously motivated citizens participate in this way. It will appeal to readers in philosophy and politics.


"With Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship, Paul Weithman makes an important contribution to democratic theory. Written with philosophical precision and rigor but also informed by empirical work in the social sciences, this wide-ranging book argues that religious groups in America make valuable contributions to democracy by helping their members develop political skills. On this basis Weithman then criticizes the dominant tradition in liberal political philosophy that holds that religious citizens should seldom bring their religious views into the public square. Weithman puts the pro-religion argument in its best light. Thus, while his arguments will inspire controversy, they undoubtedly move this important debate to a new plane of clarity." Martha Nussbaum, author of Upheavals of Thought and Women and Human Development

"...a fascinating, important work." Journal of International Migration and Integration

"[T]his densely argued work more than repays careful, detailed study.... This impressive contribution to an important American cultural and political debate will benefit academics, political leaders, members of the clergy, and students of political science. Recommended." Choice

"Weithman's book is an important contribution to an important debate, and it will be viewed as an essential text..." Perspectives on Politics

"Weithman's arguments are developed with care and nuance, and are informed by a thoroughly kowledgeable and fair reading of his critics. Indeed, his book is one of the best defenses of the minority view in the current literature. Weithman's work is essential reading for all those interested in the subject of religion and politics. It is also an invaluable service to those of us who hold that religion has a role to play in politics in a liberal, democratic society..." Philosophia Christi, Brendan Sweetman, Rockhurst University

"Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship is a terrific book."
Christopher J. Eberle, Ethics


North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Prize 2002 - Winner