Jürgen Habermas on the (Non-)Translatability of Religious Meaning


  • Kevin M. Vander Schel Gonzaga University



Słowa kluczowe:

Habermas, faith and reason, religion in the public sphere, secularism, Frankfurt School, critical theory, communicative action, hermeneutics, theological method


The relationship between religious faith and public reason has occupied an increasingly central role in Jürgen Habermas’s mature work. Yet this recent engagement with questions of religious meaning also illuminates a significant area of development in Habermas’s thought. While his earlier writings emphasized a need to subordinate religious beliefs to rational critique and to translate religious truth claims into publicly accessible forms of reasoning, his later writings signal a shift to a more cooperative understanding of religious faith and critical reason that highlights the ongoing potential of religion to advance rational discourse and social criticism in the public sphere. This essay traces this growing recognition of the irreducibility of religious meaning in Habermas’s writings, and it attends to the non-translatable dimension of religious faith as a source of its ongoing contemporary significance.


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