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Cathleen Kaveny’s Prophecy Without Contempt seeks to reorient the conversa-tion among religious ethicists and political theorists about religion in publiclife. Rather than focus on religious speech in general, Kaveny distinguishesdeliberation and indictment as forms of discourse, and she subjects indictmentto ethical evaluation. She aims to constrain the public exercise of inordinateindictment, while encouraging prophetic indictment that meets the demandsof justice. While the book is a much-needed corrective, Kaveny’s focus on thepowerful rhetoric of prophetic indictment omits the harms that can come tothe body politic from unjust silence. Such silence deserves more moralattention.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Journal Article

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