Connolly (political science, Johns Hopkins Univ.), the author of several books on political philosophy, argues in this difficult, densely reasoned treatise that although secularism has made great contributions to the promotion of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the acceptance of diversity, its response to contentious public issues has been dogmatic and exclusionary. He believes that in dealing with controversial issues such as the death penalty, the right to die, and the war on drugs, secularism has failed to recognize the complexity of public views because it has excluded religious and theistic viewpoints. In doing so, he claims that it has ignored an opportunity to create public consensus. He argues further that the narrowness of the secularist vision has helped to increase support for the death penalty, which he himself opposes. Connolly uses academic jargon liberally and repeatedly refers to famous philosophers. Of interest primarily to university and large public libraries.ÄJack Forman, Mesa Coll. Lib., San Diego Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.