Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 21, No 2 (2008)

Towards a Transformed Communal Spirituality in the West: Religion, Reason and Civil Society in Plato’s Laws

Albert Roland Haig
Issued Date: 7 Jun 2008


In the Laws Plato rejects the idea that reason alone is capable of providing an adequate foundation for a just social order by motivating ordinary citizens to act rightly. He therefore sees religion (of the right kind) as playing an important complementary role to reason in encouraging and reinforcing virtuous behaviour in the community. This provides a significant implicit critique of modern liberal secularism. However, Plato never adequately comprehends the way in which religions derive their popular persuasive power. Faith and reason need to act together in an integrated manner as the foundation for social order.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v21i2.200


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