Event Details

Religious Freedom in the Liberal State. Second edition.

Author: R. Ahdar, I. Leigh (eds.)
Isbn: 9780199606474
Pages: 528
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Place: Oxford
Published/Year: 2013
Category: n\a


This book develops a normative theory of religious freedom from a liberal democratic standpoint and provides an invaluable comparative analysis of major Anglophone common law jurisdictions and European human rights jurisprudence

New to this edition
•Increased coverage of Islam and the flashpoint debates surrounding the accommodation of Muslim beliefs and practices in Anglophone nations
•Analysis of recent case law and legislation in the UK, the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Examining the law and public policy relating to religious liberty in Western liberal democracies, this book contains a detailed analysis of the history, rationale, scope, and limits of religious freedom from (but not restricted to) an evangelical Christian perspective. Focussing on United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and EU, it studies the interaction between law and religion at several different levels, looking at the key debates that have arisen.

Divided into three parts, the book begins by contrasting the liberal and Christian rationales for and understandings of religious freedom. It then explores central thematic issues: the types of constitutional frameworks within which any right to religious exercise must operate; the varieties of paradigmatic relationships between organized religion and the state; the meaning of 'religion'; the limitations upon individual and institutional religious behaviour; and the domestic and international legal mechanisms that have evolved to address religious conduct. The final part explores key subject areas where current religious freedom controversies have arisen: employment; education; parental rights and childrearing; controls on pro-religious and anti-religious expression; medical treatment; and religious group (church) autonomy.

This new edition is fully updated with the growing case law in the area, and features increased coverage of Islam and the flashpoint debates surrounding the accommodation of Muslim beliefs and practices in Anglophone nations.

Table of contents


Part I
 1: Christian Perspectives
 2: Liberal Perspectives
Part II
 3: Models of Religion-State Relations
 4: Legal Protection of Religious Freedom
 5: Is Establishment Consistent with Religious Freedom?
 6: Limits to Religious Freedom
Part III
 7: Families, Parents, and Children
 8: Education
 9: Medical Treatment
 10: Employment
 11: Religious Group Autonomy
 12: Religious Expression and Protest

Recent Books

Law, Religion and COVID-19 Emergency

The health emergency caused by the contagious virus SARS-CoV-2 is having many consequences also on religious rules – more broadly for the difficulties raising from the possible contradiction between the respect for the measures taken by civil authorities and religious rules. International law allows for the limitation? of the right to religious freedom on the grounds of protection of public health, and we are witnessing a situation of unprecedented restrictions on the global scale. As scholars engaged in the study of the legal regulation of the religious phenomenon, we have wanted to create a space to collect documents, comments and other useful materials related to the emergency, in order to assess the outcomes of the normative choices made by civil and religious authorities.

Spiritual Care in Public Institutions in Europe

Nowadays, involvement in spiritual care in public institutions or chaplaincy is one of the highly current topics connected with activities of religious communities. Spiritual care is the spiritual assistance provided by religious communities and their members to the benefit of the military, police, prison system, health care and social services, education, fire brigades, victims of crime and disasters, asylum seekers and other areas. The monograph “Spiritual Care in Public Institutions in Europe” focuses on these topics in detail.