Two Religious Critiques of Liberal Democracy: A Comparison of the Political Theories of Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi and Franklin I. Gamwell

Author: Lawrence, Johnson
Year:2015
Pages:324
ISBN:1-4955-0305-4
978-1-4955-0305-4
Price:219.95
To underscore the moral crisis that plagues liberal democracy, the author seeks answers by drawing from both Western and Asian thought in this outstanding analysis in political ethics. Starting with Gamwell’s theory, which is grounded on God and offers a common goal for political community and establishes a firm ground for morality and political ethics the author advances and reformulates Gamwell’s theory, using the insights and resources provided by Gandhi bringing a global dimension to this original critique.

Reviews

“This book makes a significant contribution to the field of comparative political philosophy, a fast growing subfield of political philosophy. Beginning from the second half of the twentieth century, there has been a growing expansion of our knowledge of the political philosophies of non-Western cultures, particularly those of India, China and Islam, such that it invites comparison with various political philosophies of the West… It is in this light that we have to see Dr. Lawrence’s attempt to compare the political philosophies of Franklin I. Gamwell and that of Mahatma Gandhi.”
-Anthony Parel,
Professor Emeritus,
University of Calgary, Canada


“… the manuscript has many merits, not the least of which is a thoughtful and generally clear presentation of some very complex ideas and arguments. I found the summary of both Gamwell’s and Gandhi’s work instructive, and the topic was interesting and original.”
-Dr. Brett T. Wilmot,
Associate Dir., The Ethics Program,
Villanova University


“Dr. Lawrence believes that the crisis in modern and postmodern ethical and political life can be resolved by a return to a metaphysical teleological ground. How to enact this foundational transformation in a world dominated, on the one hand, by logic and scientific reasoning and on the other, by religious pluralism is no easy task. Lawrence draws out implications for such a project from both western and Asian sources. He begins with an analysis of the political ethics of Franklin I. Gamwell and argues that Gamwell’s theory can be workable, if strengthened and augmented by the spiritual and political experiments of Mohandas K. Gandhi. By way of a comprehensive synthesis of the above philosophies Lawrence structures a framework for a theory that would provide a metaphysical teleological ground for ethics and political life in the contemporary world. Such a system, he argues, would save democracy from the grip of political liberalism which lacks the ethical and spiritual resources to sustain itself.”
-Dr. Keith W. Krasemann,
Professor of Philosophy,
College of DuPage


Table of Contents

Foreword by Anthony Parel
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction
-The Statement of the Problem
-The Thesis Scope, Assumptions and Definition of Terms
-Methodology and Sources
-Overview of Chapters
Chapter 1: A Study of Franklin I. Gamwell’s Metaphysical Teleological Ground for Political Ethics
Introduction
-The Contemporary Moral Crisis in the West
-Some Contemporary Solutions
-Alasdair MacIntyre’s Ethical Theory
-Gamwell’s Critique of MacIntyre’s Virtue Theory and Tradition Constituted Moral Inquiry
-Karl-Otto Apel’s Moral Theory
-Gamwell’s Metaphysical Teleological Ground for His Political Ethics
-Self-Understanding and Comprehensive Self-Understanding
-Understanding
-Self-Understanding
-Comprehensive Self-Understanding
-Original Freedom, Moral Responsibility, Authentic and Inauthentic Choice
-The Reality of God as the Ground of Human
-Human Authenticity or Comprehensive Purpose
Summary
Chapter 2: Gamwell’s Metaphysical Teleologically Grounded Political Ethics
Introduction
-Democracy as a Formative Principle
-Substantive Rights Through Political Discourse
-Justice Depending on a Comprehensive Purpose and Having Formative and Substantive Dimensions
-Nonuniversalist Theories and Justice
-Justice as General Emancipation: Maximal Common Humanity and Maximal Divine Good
-The Principle of Justice
-Teleological Character of Justice
Summary
Chapter 3: A Study of Gandhi’s Metaphysical Teleological Ground For Political Ethics
Introduction
-Gandhi’s Critique of Western Industrial Civilization and Indian Society
-Western Industrial Civilization Places mammon in the Place of God
-Modernity is Rooted in Brutal Violence, Ruthless Exploitation, and it is Demonic
-Western Industrial Civilization is Based on Faulty Assumptions of Human Nature and is Unsustainable
-Gandhi’s Critique of Indian Society
-Gandhi’s Metaphysical Teleological Ground
-Gandhi’s Concept of God
-Gandhi’s Concept of Human
-Gandhi’s Vision of the Ultimate Goal for Humans
Summary
Chapter 4: M.K. Gandhi’s metaphysical Teleologically Grounded Political Ethics
Introduction
-Civic Nationalism and Democracy
-Swaraj
-Satyagraha
-Ahimsa
-Karma Yoga
-Sarvadharma Samabhavana
-Swadeshi

-Trusteeship
-Pachayat Raj, Decentralization and Direct Democracy
-Sarvodaya
Summary
Chapter 5: Contributions of Gandhi in the Reformulation of Gamwell’s Metaphysical Teleologically Grounded Political Ethics
Introduction
-Gandhi and Gamwell’s Critique of Existing Situation and Existing Alternatives
-Gamwell and Gandhi’s Approach to the Problem
-The Scope of Gamwell and Gandhi’s Critique
-The Depth of Gamwell and Gandhi’s Critique
-Methodology of Gamwell and Gandhi on the Necessity of Metaphysical Teleological Ground
-A Comparative Study of Gamwell and Gandhi’s Metaphysical Teleologically Ground for Political Ethics
-Gamwell and Gandhi’s Understanding of God
-Gamwell and Gandhi’s Understanding of Human
-Gamwell and Gandhi’s View of the Ultimate Goal of Humans
Summary
Chapter 6: A Comparative Study of Gamwell and Gandhi’s Metaphysical Teleologically Grounded Political Ethics
Introduction
-Compatibility of Religion and Democracy
-Civic Nationalism, Democracy, and Comprehensive Goal
-Democracy, Panchayat Raj and Swaraj
-Formative-Substantive Justice and Trusteeship-Swadesi Concepts
-Role of the Community-Regarding Organizations and Satyagraha
-Ahimsa

-Religious Pluralism and Democracy
-Politics as a Religious Vocation and Karma Marga
Summary
Conclusion
Glossary
Bibliography
Index