De-Religionising Religion: The European Court of Human Rights and the Conflict of Definition

Normative Pluralism and Human Rights: Social Normativities in Conflict, Topidi K. (ed.), Routledge, Juris Diversitas Series, 2018, pp. 77-104

Posted: 20 Nov 2018

Date Written: May 2, 2018

Abstract

The paper assesses the religious symbols controversy before the European Court of Human Rights. It looks into subjectivity and legitimacy questions that have arisen at a conceptual level, and inquiries into questions of human dignity, agency and autonomy. The analysis argues that an idea of illiberal liberalism has been endorsed in most cases and asks who has the power to define the contested subject and what type of definition this is formulated into. Ultimately, the paper challenges the idea that the religious symbols controversy is a conflict of ‘us versus them’ or a conflict of values, and puts forward an understanding of this as being in fact a conflict of power and definition.

Keywords: ECHR; Religious symbols; Autonomy; Legitimate aim; Subjectivity

Suggested Citation

Pavlidou, Kyriaki, De-Religionising Religion: The European Court of Human Rights and the Conflict of Definition (May 2, 2018). Normative Pluralism and Human Rights: Social Normativities in Conflict, Topidi K. (ed.), Routledge, Juris Diversitas Series, 2018, pp. 77-104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277476

Kyriaki Pavlidou (Contact Author)

Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )

Van't-Hoff-Str. 8
Berlin, Berlin 14195
Germany

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