A New Paradigm for Religious Freedom
University of Navarra
January 31, 2013
Journal of Church and State 55, 2013
This article articulates and defends a global normative paradigm of religious freedom: a minimum standard of respect for religious freedom that is rooted in human dignity and consistent with a variety of cultural and constitutional frameworks. This paradigm is fleshed out in three arguments: an argument about transcendence; an argument for a certain dualism about religion and politics, and an argument regarding regulation. The first focuses on the concept of religion; the second, on that of freedom; and the third, on rights. The first shows that, though the concept of religious freedom has rightly been expanded to protect nonbelievers as well as believers, all legal systems and constitutional frameworks should be open to the idea of transcendence as such, in order to protect the transcendent dimension of the human person. The argument for dualism calls for an interdependent dualistic structure that guarantees autonomy for both political and religious communities while imposing limits on the principle of laïcité and to theocratic impulses. Finally, the argument for regulation defends the power of political communities to regulate specifically those religious matters which affect the public sphere.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: religious freedom, transcendence, dualism, regulation
JEL Classification: K10
Date posted: January 31, 2013
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