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Original scientific paper

Religion in the thought of John Rawls

Josip Berdica orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku, Osijek, Hrvatska

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Although he may be the most influential political philosopher of the twentieth century, Rawls' thought on religion has not been sufficiently studied, neither in foreign nor in domestic scholarly works. This is a consequence of the preconception that Rawls focuses mainly on topics which do not deal with the relationship between politics and religion. On the contrary, the relationship between religion and politics, as Rawls sees and interprets it, is at the core of the problem which liberalism as a philosophical view has endeavoured to solve for centuries. He takes an authentic interest in these problems and reflects upon them thereby attempting to offer a satisfactory solution, but nevertheless leaving many open questions for those who will make a similar attempt in the future. To say that religion is poorly represented in Rawls' thought does not coincide with the evidence in his works, particularly as regards the recently discovered diploma essay of this unorthodox thinker. The thoughts which he puts forth not only bring us closer to resolving numerous issues dealing with the relationship between modern politics and religion and regarding the place and role of religion in modern political discourse, but they also point to a more concise and systematic analysis of these relationships for which we have yet to find adequate solutions.


religion, politics, liberalism, Rawls

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