Why Religious Liberty is a Special, Important and Limited Right
19 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2009
Date Written: October 30, 2008
This address to a conference in Princeton on religious liberty in the contemporary situation engages in a critical review of the main thesis of Christopher Eisgruber and Lawrence Sager, Religious Freedom & the Constitution (Harvard UP, 2007), that religion is not “a … category of human experience that demands special benefits and/or necessitates special restrictions,” or any “special immunity for religiously motivated conduct.” Against this position it is argued that natural religion of the form manifested in the New York Regents’ prayer outlawed by the US Supreme Court in Engel v Vitale (1962) is not to be put on the same constitutional level as (or below) other human passionate interests or even conscience. The paper considers inter alia the Indian and the European Convention provisions on religious liberty.
Keywords: religious liberty, free exercise, liberty, religion, freedom of religion
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