Philosophy Religious views Talks

Colosi on religion in the public square

UFL member Pete Colosi gave a talk about the importance of specifically religious discourse in public square debates about moral issues, including esp. the life issues. He focuses on the dialogue between Habermas, Pera, and Benedict XVI/Ratzinger. He points out, for instance, that Habermas promotes the idea that religious ideas should have equal footing in public discourse, according the same kind of respect by secularists that any other ideas are afforded. He thinks that society at large and secularists specifically can learn from specifically religious arguments for moral positions. Pera, an atheist, even holds that even if no one actually believes in the doctrines of Christianity, that civilization will only survive if we build our public life on the principles of Christian (Catholic) Social Teaching as articulated by believers. Ratzinger, although he agrees with Habermas and Pera, further argues, that there needs to be the Christian witness of persons who have a living faith in order for the teachings to having positive effect in the public life of society. Here is a video of the talk, “Ratzinger, Habermas and Pera on Public Reason and Religion.”


Robert Gotcher is a dogmatic and moral theologian and long-time member of UFL who received his Ph.D. from Marquette University. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin.