Problematizing Religious Freedom

  • Arvind Sharma

Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 3-15
    3. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 17-26
    4. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 27-33
    5. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 35-72
    6. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 73-83
    7. Arvind Sharma
      Pages 85-93
  3. Part II

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 259-264

About this book


The central claim of this book is that although the concept of religious freedom as a human rights concept is emblematic on the one hand, the concept is also problematic on the other, that its implications are far from self-evident despite the ready acceptance the term receives as embodying a worthwhile goal. This book therefore problematizes the concept along legal, constitutional, ethical, and theological lines, and especially from the perspective of religious studies, so that religious freedom in the world could be enlarged in a way which promotes human flourishing.

"Is religion always something good, a benefit to humanity? A  detailed examination of the religions as they affect and have affected the world raises disturbing questions, and this authoritative treatment of them will provide a focus of discussion for years to come. I congratulate the author. The result is invaluable for both scholars and students, and I commend it to both without reservation."

John Hick
Professor Emeritus, Birmingham University, UK,
and the Claremont Graduate University, California
Vice-President, British Society for the Philosophy of Religion and World Congress of Faiths

"Problematizing Religious Freedom is an intensely provocative book.  It takes the reader through discussions and debates about the nature and definition of religion, distinctions between missionary and non-missionary traditions, concepts of conversion and proselytism, attitudes and understandings of religious freedom internal to various traditions, and the semantic  dimensions and practical implications of the phrase "religious freedom" as it is employed in the contemporary human rights community and beyond.  Although one may not agree with all of his points, there is no gainsaying the fact that Sharma greatly illuminates a set of important problems - and from a distinctive point of view that is vigorously argued."

Sumner B. Twiss, Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion
Florida State University
Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Brown University


Attitudes Toward Conversion inWorld Religions Concept of Religious Freedom Human Rights Missionary and non-missionary religions Native American Religious Freedom Non-missionary religions Religions: Missionary and Non-missionary Religious freedom Religious pluralism Religious studies Religious toleration Universal Declaration of Human Rights What Is Religion? What Is Religious Freedom?

Authors and affiliations

  • Arvind Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Religious StudiesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Bibliographic information