Dr David Newheiser from the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry speaks on the problem of religion and politics at the National School of Arts research seminar on 29 July. It will televised across all campuses.
Since whatever consensus used to exist around religion seems to have shattered, it is hard to know whether religion can appropriately play a role in decisions concerning public policy and the prosecution of war. Some argue that religion is a dangerous force that ought to be strictly separated from the political sphere.
In this seminar, David Newheiser from the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry draws on the work of Jacques Derrida to argue that this separation is both impossible and unnecessary.
Derrida suggests that, insofar as the concepts of secular politics remain marked by a religious heritage, religion remains a force in Western political life (often unconsciously). Although religion is indeed dangerous, Derrida shows that it is also a powerful resource for political reflection.