Luke Bretherton comments on connection between politics, religion and civic empathy

As part of a series of commentaries on the book, “Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture,” Senior Fellow Luke Bretherton was selected to write a response to a chapter on issues related to religion and public policy.

Posted to the University of Chicago’s Religion & Culture forum, Bretherton provides analysis of a portion of the latest book by Richard B. Miller, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Bretherton’s primary teaching interests include theological ethics, Christian political thought, and practices of social, political and economic witness.

In his post, Bretherton discusses themes of civic empathy, including the idea of whether people should consider religious literacy as part of civic engagement.

“Liberalism is just as much a comprehensive doctrine as Communism or Christianity, yet, in Miller’s account, it is assumed to be neutral and the kind of anthropology it presupposes (namely, the self-reflexive, autonomous subject) and values it requires conformity to (namely, equality, autonomy, and reciprocity) are never subject to critique and so never problematized or interrogated,” he writes.

Read Bretherton’s full response: A Political Ethic of Alterity: Liberalism or Agonistic Democratic Politics?