Chapter 8: The demands of constitutionalism regarding religion
As can be seen from the previous chapters, the ‘secular’ reaction is widely considered to be an appropriate response to the difficulties facing the state, religious communities and individuals, caused by the growing religious pluralism of the citizens and denizens of many countries around the globe. Pamela Slotte for example identifies ‘the principle of secularism’ as a duty of states, groups and individuals in European human rights law. Jeroen Temperman presents an argued apologia for ‘religiously neutral governance’. He casts the secular ‘solution’ in the form of everyone's right that the state should be prohibited by law (constitutional and international) from discriminating directly or indirectly on grounds of religion or belief. However, Temperman's impressive comparative study of the manner in which states across the globe deal in theory and practice with religion and related matters shows how deeply intermingled law and religion are and the extent to which historical and contemporary predilections will have to be overcome if religious neutrality is to be achieved in governance. In fact, religious neutrality appears to be beyond the reach of humanity, and where it is propounded it does not produce the desired results. Nevertheless Temperman concludes: [I]f we do allow a role for religion to be played within the political discourse we must make sure that constitutional safeguards are in place to prevent human rights abuses.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.