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Chicago Kent College of Law




This symposium addresses legal and constitutional implications of the calls to revive or renew civil society (a realm between the individual and the state, including the family and religious, civic, and other voluntary associations). Calls to revive or renew civil society are prominent in political and legal discourse. The erosion or disappearance of civil society is a common diagnosis of what underlies civic and moral decline in America, and its renewal features prominently as a cure for such decline. Broadly speaking, there are two strands of civil society advocates, which a leader in the civil society movement recently characterized as the civic revivalists and the moral revivalists.1 The first strand is illustrated by the recent report of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, A Nation of Spectators: How Civic Disengagement Weakens America and What We Can Do About It, 2 and the second by the recent report of the Council on Civil Society, A Call to Civil Society: Why Democracy Needs Moral Truths.3 The former emphasizes "civic renewal" and reinvigorating civic character and engagement in shared civic purposes, while the latter stresses moral renewal, moral character, and consensus about moral truths.



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