Senior Research Fellow Vincent Rougeau
"What do you hope to accomplish this year as a Martin Marty Center Senior Fellow, and how does the MMC look as a place to do your work?"
I hope to use my time at the Marty Center to begin work on a book that explores the role of religious believers as citizens in pluralist democracies. Specifically, I want to consider the growing body of work in cosmopolitan political philosophy and the emerging idea of liberal multiculturalism as a means of proposing a different way for American Christians in particular to think about their roles as citizens and their relationship to the nation-state. If core values of liberal democracy--like the equality of esteem for all human beings--are truly universal, claims that the American constitution and the rights it confers are unique or "exceptional" become increasingly incoherent. The universalist claims of cosmopolitanism resonate strongly with many similar claims in Christianity, and I hope to argue that a more cosmopolitan understanding of democratic citizenship and democratic values is much more consistent with Christianity than a nationalistic position that elevates the rights of citizens over non-citizens, while still claiming that core democratic rights are inalienable to human beings generally. One obvious legal issue raised by this work is the legal status of undocumented migrants. Some other legal and policy issues I would like to consider are the regulation of global economic activity, the protection of the global environment, and the status of religious communities as recognizable groups within multicultural democracies.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Martin Marty Center Senior Fellows Symposium
4: 00 p.m.-- 6:00 p.m., Swift Hall Commons
Martin Marty Center Senior Fellows Symposium allows the Senior Fellows to present her or his work in a public forum. Vincent Rougeau's symposium is titled "Religious Citizens, Pluralist Democracy, and Legal Cosmopolitanism" (tentative). Rougeau is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Center on Law and Government at Notre Dame Law School; he recently completed a book with Oxford University Press entitled Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order.