The Crisis of the Secular State-A Reply to Professor Sajó
Posted: 4 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 2009
The failure of the European Constitution ignited two apparently independent debates, on the future of European states and on the place of Christian values in the European public sphere. In recent years, the latter question has become more and more burning; so much so that the future of European secular states is considered to depend to a great extent on its ability to cope with the alleged threat of religion. Responding to an essay by András Sajó, Preliminaries to a Concept of Constitutional Secularism, which appeared in I•CON in October of 2008, this paper distinguishes two competing theories of the place of religion in Europe and suggests that the best understanding of secularism does not exclude religious minorities from the public sphere. European states should develop a common secular position that articulates and promotes conditions of coexistence and communication.
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