Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression in Western Liberal Democracies

Forthcoming as "Introduction" in: Jeroen Temperman and András Koltay (Eds.), Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 1-21.

20 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by Andras Koltay

Andras Koltay

Independent

Jeroen Temperman

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Date Written: December 7, 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates the status and tenability of blasphemy laws in Western jurisdictions. There is vast knowledge on non-Western blasphemy laws and their chilling effect on free speech as well as the way these laws have been used and abused to stifle undesirable dissident speech and unorthodox speech acts on the part of religious minorities. The discussion on Western blasphemy laws tends to trivialize their significance in two ways. First, they would be mere relics, largely dormant legal curiosities and, in any event, shortly to be a thing of the past. Second, Western legal doctrine would be virtually uniformly on the side of their complete abolition.

Keywords: blasphemy, blasphemy laws, West, Western states, democracies, Charlie Hebdo

Suggested Citation

Koltay, Andras and Temperman, Jeroen, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression in Western Liberal Democracies (December 7, 2017). Forthcoming as "Introduction" in: Jeroen Temperman and András Koltay (Eds.), Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 1-21., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3084087

Andras Koltay

Independent

Jeroen Temperman (Contact Author)

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://ridms.nl/temperman/

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