Is Secularism Neutral?

Ratio Juris 26 (3):404-429 (2013)
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Abstract

This article argues that secularism is not neutral. Secularization is a process, the secular state is a structure, whereas secularism is a political philosophy. Secularism takes two main forms: first, a “benevolent” secularism that endeavours to treat all religious and nonreligious belief systems even-handedly, and, second, a “hostile” kind that privileges unbelief and excludes religion from the public sphere. I analyze the European Court of Human Rights decision in Lautsi v Italy, which illustrates these types. The article concludes that secularism as a political philosophy cannot be neutral, and the secular state is not neutral in its effects, standpoint, governing assumptions or treatment of religious truth claims

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Religion in the public sphere.Jürgen Habermas - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):1–25.

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