Church under Leviathan: On the Democratic Participation of Religious Organizations in an Authoritarian Society

Baldwin Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Political philosophers have long disagreed on the issue of whether churches should exercise restraint in the appeal to religious reasons in public discussion and political mobilization. Exclusivists defend the restraint, whereas inclusivists reject it. Both sides, however, assume the existence of a democratic government. In this essay, I discuss whether churches should exercise restraint in a non-democratic, authoritarian society. I defend inclusivism and believe that churches should not restrain themselves, especially when doing so can promote democracy and prevent severe injustices. First, I argue that two exclusivist arguments which justify the restraint cannot be applied in an authoritarian society. Second, I defend inclusivism because religious reasons are effective in cultivating active citizens that strengthen the democratic movement. Finally, I use the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong as an example to show how inclusivism can enhance democratic movements under authoritarianism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-89
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Religious Ethics
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • authoritarianism
  • democratic movement
  • religious reason
  • inclusivism
  • exclusivism

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Church under Leviathan: On the Democratic Participation of Religious Organizations in an Authoritarian Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this