chapter  19
15 Pages

Religion in the Public Sphere

ByPatrik Fridlund

If questions are raised regarding religion in the public sphere, one would perhaps like to know how the term ‘the public sphere’ is understood. Religion can be seen in relation to society and the public in general, and to the political in particular; these areas do not necessarily overlap. Philosopher Anthony O’Hear declares for instance that some areas should be independent of politics, while being parts of society and public life of course: art, sport and education would be three such areas. (O’Hear, 2009: 203) In this contribution, I consider ‘the public sphere’ to be a sphere of common interest, and in which there is some kind of debate or exchange going on with regard to some kind of decisions; that entails use of arguments. This could be called a ‘political sphere’. Important to notice though is that it is not limited to political institutions.