Freedom of Religion and the Secular State by Russell Blackford
Exploring the relationship between religion and the state Focusing on the intersection of religion, law, and politics in contemporary liberal democracies, Blackford considers the concept of the secular state, revising and updating enlightenment views for the present day. Freedom of Religion and the Secular State offers a comprehensive analysis, with a global focus, of the subject of religious freedom from a legal as well as historical and philosophical viewpoint. It makes an original contribution to current debates about freedom of religion, and addresses a whole range of hot-button issues that involve the relationship between religion and the state, including the teaching of evolution in schools, what to do about the burqa, and so on.
Table of Contents
1 Motivation and Overview 1 2 A Short History of Religious Intolerance 20 3 Hobbes, Locke, and their Legacy: Models of the Modern State 34 4 Religious Impositions and Endorsements 56 5 Religion-Based Morality and the Secular State 67 6 Persecution, Accommodation, and Conscientious Objection 94 7 Private Power, Religious Communities, and the State 118 8 Religious Freedom and the Interests of Children 141 9 Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech 169 10 Back to Locke: Concluding Remarks 198 Index 202
About the Author
Russell Blackford is an Australian philosopher and literary critic, based at the University of Newcastle, NSW. He is editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, and co-editor, with Udo Schuklenk, of 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. His areas of expertise include legal and political philosophy, philosophical bioethics, metaethics, and philosophy of religion. He has published essays, stories, and reviews in a wide range of magazines, anthologies, and academic journals.
"But anyway, even with this, this book is a must-have. It needs to be kept to hand in any discussion of Western secularism." (Steve's Posterous, 28 January 2012) "This worthy contribution to the debate on religious freedom analyses the history and thinking that has underpinned western society today ... Whilst written by an academic, the style and language open up a complex and important debate to a mass audience and clearly underline the principles at stake for both state and church." (Life & Work, 1 February 2012) "Freedom of Religion and the Secular State offers a comprehensive analysis, with a global focus, of the subject of religious freedom from a legal as well as historical and philosophical viewpoint." (The Richard Dawkins Foundation, 16 December 2011)