• A Critical Assessment of Will Kymlicka's Theory of Minority Rights: Dilemmas of Liberal Multiculturalism

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Hys, Dmytro; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004)
      This thesis argues that to take into account only liberal interpretations of multicultural dilemmas would be insufficient and unrealistic in assessing the claims of justice for ethnocultural diversity. The current liberal approach as offered by Will Kymlicka is a good beginning for ethnic conflict management. However, his theory is marked by a number of limitations due to the fact that he operates only with the principles and norms of liberal institutions. In modern multiculturally constituted democracies, the presence and constant increase of cultural diversity challenges the self-understanding of liberal democracy. Kymlicka's liberal theory of multiculturalism has been challenged by several political theorists, who emphasize the insufficiency of his approach due its reliance on liberal readings of ethnic conflicts. [from Introduction, p. [1]]
    • Education and Political Authority: Procedure, Jurisdiction, Substantive Goodness and the Specificity of Schools

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Brink, Robert A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008)
      The appropriate relationship between political authority and education/schools as it relates to jurisdictional, procedural and substantive considerations, is highly contested. Several political theorists, including Amy Gutmann, Brian Barry, Chandran Kukathas and Iris Marion Young, have contributed to the debate, each prioritizing one of these considerations over the others. Attempts by other scholars to reconcile the considerations often fail to adequately accept the implications of the theoretical underpinnings of each. A political theoretical orientation that combines a recognition of institutional specificity with an awareness of the multifaceted nature of contested phenomena will enable theorists to address the heretofore intractable points of contention amongst political theorists surrounding issues of jurisdictional/procedural propriety and substantive goodness as they relate to educational practices and institutions. This orientation clarifies the dialogue between the most prominent theoretical approaches to analysis of political authority's just relation to education within modern liberal democracies.
    • The Quest for Rational Agreement: a Critical Assessment of Alasdair MacIntyre's Attempt to Overcome Relativism

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Gassanov, Samir; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2003-02)
    • Religion and Democracy: an Institutional Response to Robert Audi

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Dam, Ken; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006)
      This thesis will enter into the discussion about the relationship between religion and politics to examine the proposals made by Robert Audi attempting to resolve perceived incompatible and incongruous tensions arising from politically active religion. Utilizing the work of Paul Weithman, Christopher Eberle, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Jeffrey Stout, and others, this essay examines Audi's epistemological and empirical arguments for justifying restraints upon religiously-based political advocacy. Contesting the viability of Audi's notion of a "secular reason," and his generalization that religiously-based political advocacy threatens the health and strength of a free and democratic society, I conclude that the types of restraints being put forward by Audi will likely hinder rather than help bring about more healthy and just societies. Nonetheless, Audi has helped identify a key lacuna within the arguments of those advocating the legitimacy of religiously-based and religiously motivated political advocacy and action. As such, this essay aims to provide a 'complementary' approach - one which works to clarify and situate concerns expressed by Audi regarding unrestrained religiously-based political advocacy and those of his critics desiring a more religiously-inclusive public political sphere.Ascribing to the political community the task of discerning the common good or some variant thereof (Audi speaks briefly of "political justice"; this essay proposes "public justice") is widespread within the academic literature. Few theorists, however, have allowed substantive reflection on what the political common good entails to significantly shape their considerations of and proposals regarding democratic legitimacy, appropriate restraints and guidelines for public-political dialogue, and ideals of citizenship. To that end, the thrust of the complementary approach will involve grounding and framing a religiously inclusive conception of the public-political sphere within what is being called the "institutional imperative" of the political community to pursue "public justice." Part and parcel of this institutional grounding involves re-examining concerns for civic respect, restraint, and dialogue in light of the guiding institutional norm of "public justice."