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Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy

Cécile Laborde and Aurélia Bardon


In recent years, the notion of religion has received increased salience both in academic and in wider public debate, yet it is still a category that liberal political philosophers are uncomfortable with. This is somewhat paradoxical because key liberal notions (state sovereignty, toleration, individual freedom, the rights of conscience, public reason) were elaborated as a response to seventeenth-century European wars of religion, and the fundamental structure of liberalism is rooted in the Western experience of politico-religious conflict. So a reappraisal of this tradition—and of its validity ... More

Keywords: religion, liberalism, secularism, neutrality, public reason, conscience, non-establishment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198794394
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198794394.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cécile Laborde, editor
Nuffield Chair in Political Theory, University of Oxford

Aurélia Bardon, editor
Lecturer in Politics, University of Liverpool

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Cécile Laborde and Aurélia Bardon

Part I The Special Status of Religion in the Law

Part II Sovereignty, Non-Establishment, Neutrality

Part III Accommodation and Religious Freedom

12 Religious Accommodation

Jonathan Seglow

13 Exemptions for Conscience

Simon Căbulea May

16 Equality and Conscience

Annabelle Lever

Part IV Toleration, Conscience, Identity

18 Toleration without Limits

Chandran Kukathas

End Matter