In this elegantly written book, Mark S. Cladis invites us to reflect on the nature and place of the public and private in the work of Rousseau and, more generally, in democratic society. Listening closely to the religious pitch in Rousseau's voice, he convincingly shows that Rousseau, when attempting to portray the most characteristic aspects of the public and private, reached for a religious vocabulary. Cladis skillfully leads the reader on an exploration of the conflicting claims with which Rousseau wrestled - prerogatives and obligations to self, friends, family, vocation, civic life, and to humanity. At the juncture of diverse theological and secular traditions, Rousseau forged a vision of human happiness found not exclusively in the public or private, but in a complex combination of the two.

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