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Document Details :
Title: De spanning tussen een intern en een extern perspectief op religie vandaag
Subtitle: In gesprek met Marcel Gauchet, Luc Ferry en Charles Taylor
Author(s): FAURE, Gerbert
Volume: 72 Issue: 1 Date: 2011
In this paper, I would like to introduce a complexity in the debate on the meaning of religion today. This complexity relates to the tension between an internal and an external perspective on religion. I will try to show how the disagreement between some protagonists in the debate and also the difficulties these protagonists face can be clarified by taking into account the difference between both perspectives. In the first part I discuss Marcel Gauchet’s view on the meaning of religion today. In the second part I confront Gauchet with an ambiguity in his definition of religion. This ambiguity can also be found in Gauchet’s discussion with Luc Ferry, although neither Gauchet nor Ferry are capable of adequately dealing with the problem. This is because both authors are bound to an external perspective on religion, which doesn’t allow them to distinguish its specific content from other forms of meaningfulness. This is why we will concentrate in the third part on Taylor’s internal approach to religion. However, in the fourth part, we will demonstrate how such an approach is in tension with the normative ambitions Taylor seems to cherish.