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William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American C #1995: The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty

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William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American C #1995: The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Between loyalty and disobedience; between recognition of the law's authority and realization that the law is not always right: In America, this conflict is historic, with results as glorious as the mass protests of the civil rights movement and as inglorious as the armed violence of the militia movement. In an impassioned defense of dissent, Stephen L. Carter argues for the dialogue that negotiates this conflict and keeps democracy alive. His book portrays an America dying from a refusal to engage in such a dialogue, a polity where everybody speaks, but nobody listens.

The Dissent of the Governed is an eloquent diagnosis of what ails the American body politic--the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to--and a prescription for a new process of response. Carter examines the divided American political character on dissent, with special reference to religion, identifying it in unexpected places, with an eye toward amending it before it destroys our democracy.

At the heart of this work is a rereading of the Declaration of Independence that puts dissent, not consent, at the center of the question of the legitimacy of democratic government. Carter warns that our liberal constitutional ethos--the tendency to assume that the nation must everywhere be morally the same--pressures citizens to be other than themselves when being themselves would lead to disobedience. This tendency, he argues, is particularly hard on religious citizens, whose notion of community may be quite different from that of the sovereign majority of citizens. His book makes a powerful case for the autonomy of communities--especially but not exclusively religious--into which democratic citizens organize themselves as a condition for dissent, dialogue, and independence. With reference to a number of cases, Carter shows how disobedience is sometimes necessary to the heartbeat of our democracy--and how the distinction between challenging accepted norms and challenging the sovereign itself, a distinction crucial to the Declaration of Independence, must be kept alive if Americans are to progress and prosper as a nation.

Synopsis:

From the author of "The Culture of Disbelief" comes an eloquent diagnosis of what ails the body politic--the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to--and a prescription for a new process of response.

Synopsis:

Between loyalty and disobedience; between recognition of the law's authority and realization that the law is not always right: In America, this conflict is historic, with results as glorious as the mass protests of the civil rights movement and as inglorious as the armed violence of the militia movement. In an impassioned defense of dissent, Stephen L. Carter argues for the dialogue that negotiates this conflict and keeps democracy alive. His book portrays an America dying from a refusal to engage in such a dialogue, a polity where everybody speaks, but nobody listens.

The Dissent of the Governedis an eloquent diagnosis of what ails the American body politic--the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to--and a prescription for a new process of response. Carter examines the divided American political character on dissent, with special reference to religion, identifying it in unexpected places, with an eye toward amending it before it destroys our democracy.

At the heart of this work is a rereading of the Declaration of Independence that puts dissent, not consent, at the center of the question of the legitimacy of democratic government. Carter warns that our liberal constitutional ethos--the tendency to assume that the nation must everywhere be morally the same--pressures citizens to be other than themselves when being themselves would lead to disobedience. This tendency, he argues, is particularly hard on religious citizens, whose notion of community may be quite different from that of the sovereign majority of citizens. His book makes a powerful case for the autonomy of communities--especially but not exclusively religious--into which democratic citizens organize themselves as a condition for dissent, dialogue, and independence. With reference to a number of cases, Carter shows how disobedience is sometimes necessary to the heartbeat of our democracy--and how the distinction between challenging accepted norms and challenging the sovereign itself, a distinction crucial to the Declaration of Independence, must be kept alive if Americans are to progress and prosper as a nation.

About the Author

Stephen L. Carter is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the author of The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Allegiance
  • Disobedience
  • Interpretation
  • Notes
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674212657
Author:
Carter, Stephen L.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Carter, Stephen L.
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Jurisprudence
Subject:
Civil disobedience
Subject:
Church & State
Subject:
Religion and politics
Subject:
Government, resistance to
Subject:
Allegiance
Subject:
Religion & State
Subject:
Religion, Politics & State
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
General Law
Subject:
Law : General
Copyright:
Series:
William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization
Series Volume:
1995
Publication Date:
April 1998
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
235
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 0.76 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Religion » Christianity » Church History » American
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American C #1995: The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty Used Hardcover
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Product details 235 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674212657 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the author of "The Culture of Disbelief" comes an eloquent diagnosis of what ails the body politic--the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to--and a prescription for a new process of response.
"Synopsis" by , Between loyalty and disobedience; between recognition of the law's authority and realization that the law is not always right: In America, this conflict is historic, with results as glorious as the mass protests of the civil rights movement and as inglorious as the armed violence of the militia movement. In an impassioned defense of dissent, Stephen L. Carter argues for the dialogue that negotiates this conflict and keeps democracy alive. His book portrays an America dying from a refusal to engage in such a dialogue, a polity where everybody speaks, but nobody listens.

The Dissent of the Governedis an eloquent diagnosis of what ails the American body politic--the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to--and a prescription for a new process of response. Carter examines the divided American political character on dissent, with special reference to religion, identifying it in unexpected places, with an eye toward amending it before it destroys our democracy.

At the heart of this work is a rereading of the Declaration of Independence that puts dissent, not consent, at the center of the question of the legitimacy of democratic government. Carter warns that our liberal constitutional ethos--the tendency to assume that the nation must everywhere be morally the same--pressures citizens to be other than themselves when being themselves would lead to disobedience. This tendency, he argues, is particularly hard on religious citizens, whose notion of community may be quite different from that of the sovereign majority of citizens. His book makes a powerful case for the autonomy of communities--especially but not exclusively religious--into which democratic citizens organize themselves as a condition for dissent, dialogue, and independence. With reference to a number of cases, Carter shows how disobedience is sometimes necessary to the heartbeat of our democracy--and how the distinction between challenging accepted norms and challenging the sovereign itself, a distinction crucial to the Declaration of Independence, must be kept alive if Americans are to progress and prosper as a nation.

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