A New Global Paradigm for Religious Freedom

Journal of Church and State 56.3, 2014, 427-453

29 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2013 Last revised: 18 Apr 2018

See all articles by Rafael Domingo

Rafael Domingo

Emory University School of Law; University of Navarra - School of Law

Date Written: January 31, 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.

Keywords: religious freedom, transcendence, dualism, regulation, conscience, constitutional law, autonomy, common good, secularism, religion, law, global law

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Domingo, Rafael, A New Global Paradigm for Religious Freedom (January 31, 2013). Journal of Church and State 56.3, 2014, 427-453. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2209540

Rafael Domingo (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.emory.edu/

University of Navarra - School of Law ( email )

Universidad de Navarra
Campus Universitario
Pamplona, Navarra 31009

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