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Religious Freedom in a Secular Age

Seminar Series: Faith and Governance
When Nov 29, 2013
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where St Edmund's College, Garden Room
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Professor Cécile Laborde will deliver the second lecture of the Seminar Series 'Faith and Governance' on the topic: Religious Freedom in a Secular Age.

How (and why) do we protect freedom of religion in an age where religion is not special?  Egalitarian theorists of religious freedom, such as Charles Taylor and Ronald Dworkin, have argued that freedom of religion is in fact a sub-set of a broader class of freedoms. Exercising one's freedom of religion is one of the ways in which we exercise a more generic freedom - moral freedom. An egalitarian theory of religious freedom does not deny that religious belief is special and should be respected and protected. What it denies is that religious belief is uniquely special: it can and should be analogised with other beliefs and commitments. In this talk, I assess the potential and pitfalls of such egalitarian theories of religious freedom.

Professor Laborde (F.B.A.) teaches Political Theory at University College London and has published on theories of law and the state, pluralism, contemporary theories of nationalism, toleration, republicanism, multiculturalism, secularism and global justice. She is currently working on the project ‘Is Religion Special? Secularism and Religion in Contemporary Legal and Political Theory’, which interrogates the special status of religion (ethics, epistemology and practices) in western political and legal theory.

The audio recordings of the seminar is now available online.


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