Date of Award

Summer 7-15-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrew Altman

Second Advisor

Timothy Renick

Third Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Fourth Advisor

William Edmundson

Fifth Advisor

Vincent Lloyd


In pursuit of a just political order, Will Kymlicka has defended a liberal conception of multiculturalism. The persuasive appeal of his argument, like that of secular-liberalism more generally, is due to presenting liberalism as a neutral and universal political project. Utilizing Charles Taylor’s genealogy of ‘exclusive humanism’ in A Secular Age, this thesis attempts to re-read Kymlicka in order to make certain theological commitments in his work explicit. Here I argue that Kymlicka, in order to make his conception of multiculturalism plausible, relies on a theologically-thick and controversial humanism operating under secular conditions of belief. By committing himself to a particular conception of the human and specific conditions of belief, Kymlicka’s liberal multiculturalism is rendered provincially incoherent because it fails to treat in a neutral manner certain theological commitments.

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