Peter Kurti lifts up the stone on questions that our secular society thought it had buried forever – notably that of euthanasia – and reminds us that the moral aspects of such matters are seldom cut and dried. He also reminds us that the Christian faith seems to have become one that is deemed ripe for assault while other creeds are barely questioned, sometimes on pain of death. His book, a plea for tolerance, is a reminder that we cast religion aside, culturally, morally and philosophically, at our peril.
-- Professor Simon Heffer, University of Buckingham
Whether your prime interest is economics, religion, politics or history, these essays show the unexpected connections between these areas and the ways in which they matter for what I, for one, am not embarrassed to call the civilization of the West. Whatever your ethical or political standpoint, I guarantee you will learn something.
-- Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute
A prescient collection of essays that both questions and tests the relationship between faith, culture and the development of public policy. From the collision of the sacred and secular, economic and social imperatives and the contradiction of religious-based violence, they present a thoughtful and clear analysis of many vexed issues, asking such questions as when virtue gives way to values, reason to emotion, and what happens to societal norms that have long been taken for granted.
-- Gemma Tognini, writer and columnist
Sacred and Profane is a clear reminder that modern democratic government is distinguished by robust capacity in fostering cohesion amidst diversity. The secular character of such government, however, poses particular questions in ensuring that citizens with religious beliefs are as free as others to participate in debates about public policy and law. Peter Kurti’s lucid essays are a search for appropriate balances between the needs, beliefs and concerns of all citizens, both those who hold religious beliefs and those who do not.
Peter Kurti is Director of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia.