Forum Philosophicum

Volume 14, Issue 1, Spring 2009

Jonathan Bowman
Pages 39-55

Extending Habermas and Ratzinger’s Dialectics of Secularization
Eastern Discursive Influences on Faith and Reason in a Postsecular Age

In the unlikely confluence of two colossal intellectual heritages, neo-Kantian Jurgen Habermas and Catholic prelate Joseph Ratzinger agree that we have entered a postsecular age. For both, the inauguration of such an age entails skepticism towards absolutist science and a growing recognition of the contributions of spiritual worldviews to social solidarity. Following their call for a multi-faceted purification in the West whereby secular and religious commitments are subjected to mutual critique, I explore potential Eastern contributions to this process by providing a micro-analysis of the interaction of discursive subjects in three traditions: for Confucianism, the rectification of names; Taoism, truth disclosure; and Buddhism, right speech.