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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Equality, Freedom, and Religion


ISBN13: 9780199576852
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £30.49
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780199671298



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Is religious freedom being curtailed in pursuit of equality, and the outlawing of discrimination? Is enough effort made to accommodate those motivated by a religious conscience? All rights matter but at times the right to put religious beliefs into practice increasingly takes second place in the law of different countries to the pursuit of other social priorities. The right to freedom of belief and to manifest belief is written into all human rights charters. In the United States religious freedom is sometimes seen as 'the first freedom'. Yet increasingly in many jurisdictions in Europe and North America, religious freedom can all too easily be 'trumped' by other rights. Roger Trigg looks at the assumptions that lie behind the subordination of religious liberty to other social concerns, especially the pursuit of equality. He gives examples from different Western countries of a steady erosion of freedom of religion. The protection of freedom of worship is often seen as sufficient, and religious practices are separated from the beliefs which inspire them. So far from religion in general, and Christianity in particular, providing a foundation for our beliefs in human dignity and human rights, religion is all too often seen as threat and a source of conflict, to be controlled at all costs. The challenge is whether any freedom can preserved for long, if the basic human right to freedom of religious belief and practice is dismissed as of little account, with no attempt to provide any reasonable accommodation. Given the central role of religion in human life, unnecessary limitations on its expression are attacks on human freedom itself.

Subjects:
Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Jurisprudence
Contents:
Introduction
1. Does Religious Freedom Matter?
2. Does Equality Trump Freedom?
3. Religious Beliefs and Institutions
4. Equal Beliefs?
5. Is Religious Toleration Enough?
6. Freedom from the Law?
7. Belief and Practice
8. Necessary Limits to Religious Freedom
9. The Challenge of Equality
10. The Foundations of Equality and Freedom
Conclusion