Ben Hertzberg: Political Theory Workshop – February 25, 2016
On February 25, Benjamin Hertzberg discussed his book chapter, “Religion and Political Liberal Stability.” Professor Hertzberg received his PhD in political science from Duke University. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Emory University. His articles about religion and politics have been published in numerous journals, including Polity and Political Theory.
Recent scholarship emphasizes the role concerns about a certain conception of political stability played in the development of John Rawls’s political liberalism. Paul Weithman shows Rawls to have used a game-theoretic understanding of stability such that, in a well-ordered society, just action is each citizens’ best response to the just actions of their fellows. Political liberalism’s distinctive features arise as a way of showing why religious pluralism does not undermine such a just equilibrium. Here, I assess the implications of this understanding of political liberalism for its ability to provide criteria for democratic judgment of religious politics and criticize the way in which is conceptualizes religions’ threat to democratic social cooperation.