Advertisement

Liberal Neutrality, Religion and the Good

  • Cécile Laborde
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in Philosophy, Religion and Public Life book series (BSPR, volume 6)

Abstract

Over the last few years, a number of legal and political philosophers have argued that there is nothing special – legally and constitutionally – about religion. Religion should be understood as a sub-set of a broader category, what John Rawls called ‘conceptions of the good’, and it should not generate claims of unique, exclusive treatment. These philosophers articulate what I call an ‘egalitarian theory of religious freedom’. It is egalitarian because it places religious and non-religious conceptions of the good on a same plane; and argues that all citizens, whether religious or not, are entitled to equal concern and respect. Egalitarian theorists of religious freedom aim to ‘generalize toleration’: to extend the idea of religious freedom to neutrality towards secular worldviews, lifestyles, sexual preferences, and so forth. All citizens deserve equal respect as citizens, whatever their particular conception of the good – be it a life of intellectual reflection, of pious devotion, or of consumerist hedonism. Religious citizens, for example, should not be exclusively entitled to exemptions from general laws: other citizens (such as secular conscientious objectors) deserve equal consideration.

References

  1. Asad T (2009) Formations of the secular. Stanford University Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhargava R (2016) Is European secularism secular snough? In: Cohen JL, Laborde C (eds) Religion, secularism, and constitutional democracy. Columbia University Press, Columbia, pp 157–181Google Scholar
  3. Black S (1992) Revisionist liberalism and the decline of culture. Ethics 102(2):244–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brighouse H (1995) Neutrality, publicity, and state funding for the arts. Philos Public Aff 24(1):35–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cavanaugh W (2013) The myth of religious violence. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Clayton M (2002) Liberal equality and ethics. Ethics 113(1):8–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clayton M (2004) A puzzle about ethics, justice and the sacred. In: Burley J (ed) Dworkin and his Critics. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 99–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen JL (2016) Rethinking political secularism and the American model of constitutional dualism. In: Cohen JL, Laborde C (eds) Religion, secularism, and constitutional democracy. Columbia University Press, Columbia, pp 113–156Google Scholar
  9. de Vries H (ed) (2008) Religion: beyond a concept. Fordham University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Domingo R (2012) Religion for Hedgehogs? An argument against the Dworkinian approach to religious freedom. Oxford J L and Rel:1–22Google Scholar
  11. Dworkin R (1985a) Can a liberal state support art? In: Dworkin R (ed) A matter of principle. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 221–233Google Scholar
  12. Dworkin R (1985b) Liberalism. In: Dworkin R (ed) A matter of principle. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 181–204Google Scholar
  13. Dworkin R (1993) Life’s dominion: an argument about abortion, euthanasia, and individual freedom. Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Dworkin R (2002) Equality and the good life. In: Dworkin R (ed) Sovereign virtue: the theory and practice of equality. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 237–284Google Scholar
  15. Dworkin R (2004) Response to Matthew Clayton. In: Burley J (ed) Dworkin and his Critics. Blackwell, Oxford, p 357Google Scholar
  16. Dworkin R (2006) Rawls and the law. In: Justice in robes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, pp 241–262Google Scholar
  17. Dworkin R (2008) Is democracy possible here? principles for a new public debate. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  18. Dworkin R (2011a) Freedom’s law: the moral reading of the American constitution. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. Dworkin R (2011b) Justice for Hedgehogs. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  20. Dworkin R (2013) Religion without God. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Eisgruber C, Sager L (2007) Religious freedom and the constitution. Harvard University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Inazu JD (2012) The limits of integrity. Law Contemp Probl 75(4):181–200Google Scholar
  23. Laborde C (2013a) Justificatory secularism. In: D’Costa G, Evans M, Modood T, Rivers J (eds) Religion in a liberal state: cross-disciplinary reflections. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 164–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Laborde C (2013b) Laïcité, séparation, neutralité. In: Dupeyron JF, Miqueu C (eds) Ethique et déontologie dans l’Education Nationale. Armand Colin, Paris, pp 171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laborde C (2014a) Dworkin’s religious freedom without God. B U L Rev 94(4):1255–1272Google Scholar
  26. Laborde C (2014b) Equal liberty, non-establishment and religious freedom. Legal Theory 20(1):52–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Laborde C (2014c) Protecting religious freedom in the secular age. In: Mahmood S, Hurd ES, Sullivan W (eds) After religious freedom. Chicago University Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  28. Laborde C (2016) Liberal neutrality, religion, and the good. In: Cohen JL, Laborde C (eds) Religion, secularism, and constitutional democracy. Columbia University Press, Columbia, pp 249–272Google Scholar
  29. Lilla M (2007) The stillborn God: religion, politics and the modern West. Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Macleod M (1997) Liberal neutrality or liberal tolerance? Law Philos 16(5):529–559Google Scholar
  31. Modood T (2016) State-religion connections and multicultural citizenship. In: Cohen JL, Laborde C (eds) Religion, secularism, and constitutional democracy. Columbia University Press, Columbia, pp 182–203Google Scholar
  32. Nagel T (2010) Review of democracy’s discontent. In: Nagel T (ed) Secular philosophy and the religious temperament: essays 2002–2008. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 109–122Google Scholar
  33. Neal P (1985) Liberalism and neutrality. Polity 17(4):664–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Patten A (2012) Liberal neutrality: a reinterpretation and defence. J Polit Philos 20(3):249–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rakowski E (2004) Reverence for life and the limits of state power. In: Burley J (ed) Dworkin and his Critics. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 241–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rawls J (1972) A theory of justice. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Rawls J (1996) Political liberalism. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Schwartzman M (2012) What if religion is not special? U Chi L Rev 79(4):1351–1427Google Scholar
  39. Sher G (1997) Beyond neutrality: perfectionism and politics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sinopoli RC (1993) Liberalism and contested conceptions of the good: the limits of neutrality. J Polit 55(3):644–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Taylor C, Maclure J (2011) Secularism and freedom of conscience. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  42. Tomasi J (1997) Liberalism, sanctity, and the prohibition of abortion. J Philos 94(10):491–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeUniversity of OxfordLondonUK

Personalised recommendations