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Sources of “Public Reason” in Europe: Perspectives from Theological Ethics

Abstract

Welcoming the turn toward including normative conceptions of the human into the remit of economics, this paper compares philosophical frameworks that guide principles such as dignity and justice as one source of theological ethics. Recent political crises show the importance of analyzing the public sphere with which Christian ethics in its various approaches interacts. The place given to religions in Rawls’s and Habermas’s concepts of “public reason” is compared with Ricoeur’s understanding of religions as cofounding traditions. They can contribute to a necessary exchange of memories, also of conflict and conquest, inspired by the undelivered hopes of their own founding memories, precluding triumphalism and fostering “intellectual solidarity” (Hollenbach).

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geo-political borders), transcultural memory (that spans cultural borders) and also the ethics of memory. Transcultural memory is a site of hybridisation and alteration of hegemonic national power and can involve everybody touched by the mobility: those who migrate, ‘natives’ in the country of destination and also those left behind. Because of the ability of migration to create unscripted new linkages of remembrance, the practices and ethics of remembrance on a local level need to be reflected upon. Cultural remembrance has the potential of enhancing exchanges and

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