Freedom From Religion

23 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2012

See all articles by Avihay Dorfman

Avihay Dorfman

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 31, 2012


My argument develops two main claims. Negatively, I repudiate the core of the case against the redundancy of a principle of freedom from religion. The centerpiece of my argument at this stage is that the two prevailing theories of freedom from religion fail to take seriously the political circumstances - viz., democratic politics - under which claims for freedom from religion arise. Affirmatively, I develop an account of freedom from religion by elaborating the democratic conception of such freedom. On the proposed account, freedom from religion secures political freedom from infringements that are distinctively associated with religion. The point of freedom from religion is the protection of citizens from being (illegitimately) governed by public laws that are, nonetheless, grounded in religious reasons. Its basic point is to sustain political solidarity among citizens - who stand in the relation of co-rulers to one another - rather than among mere subjects - who share the status of being ruled together by another.

Keywords: law & religion, state/church separation, demoracy, political legitimation, toleration, establishment clause

Suggested Citation

Dorfman, Avihay, Freedom From Religion (July 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Avihay Dorfman (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics