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How Not to Tolerate Religion

  • Glen Newey
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 7)

Abstract

This chapter argues that the contrast in attitudes among the political classes towards religious freedom and multiculturalism, as witnessed by the recent backlash against multiculturalism, is hard to justify. Those who accept religious toleration but reject multiculturalism deny that the liberal state should permit the formation of self-sufficient cultural groups within society. If there is a relevant and valid distinction to be drawn here, it must rest on the view that minority cultures’ relation to the state is qualitatively different from that of religious groups, amounting to a state within the state – hence the incendiary effect of the claim that certain groups might be able to make law for themselves. Via a re-examination of Locke’s and Hobbes’s arguments for religious toleration, I question the basis for this distinction, arguing that there is no reason why religion, as a comprehensive world-view, should accept that churches must yield to law made by the secular magistrate. This fact poses a fundamental dilemma for the state in dealing with religious malcontents.

Keywords

Religious Freedom Religious Doctrine Religious Believer Free Exercise Religious Liberty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keele UniversityKeeleUK

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