Common principles, different histories: Understanding religious liberty in the united states and France: R. Laurence Moore

Modern Intellectual History 7 (2):459-478 (2010)

In her book Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum joins a chorus of American intellectuals who have criticized France and other European nations for their failure to embrace the concept of cultural pluralism. In Nussbaum's opinion, the meaning that the French attach to egalité has remained stuck in circumstances peculiar to the eighteenth century. The concept is outdated and has not in the contemporary world been able to protect cultural diversity in general and religious diversity in particular. Her book takes to task what she terms “the French tradition of “coercive assimilation” that is insensitive to what George Washington stressed as the “‘delicacy and tenderness’ that is owed to other people's ‘conscientious scruples.’” The French refusal to allow Muslim schoolgirls to cover their heads with a foulard, however stylish it might be, is linked back to the French emancipation of Jews that required, in Nussbaum's analysis, a heavy requirement of cultural erasure. The French, like most Europeans, grew used to the idea “that citizens are all alike,” an idea that now haunts France as it tries to figure out what to do with its Muslim population
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S1479244310000168
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,461
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

No Tears for Creon.Marc O. DeGirolami - 2009 - Legal Theory 15 (4):245-266.
No Tears for Creon: Marc O. Degirolami.Marc O. Degirolami - 2009 - Legal Theory 15 (4):245-266.
The Issue of Hijab in France: Reflections and Analysis.Amani Hamdan - 2007 - Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 4 (2).
Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life.Hugh Brogan - 2006 - Yale University Press.
Charting the Circuitous Route Toward Religious Liberty.R. Laurence Moore - 2005 - Modern Intellectual History 2 (1):109-120.
Discourse and Liberty: Tocqueville and the Post-Revolutionary Debate.Michael J. Drolet - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Kent at Canterbury (United Kingdom)
Two Faces of American Pluralism: Political and Religious.Liliana Mihut - 2012 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 11 (33):39-61.


Added to PP index

Total views
26 ( #359,058 of 2,286,402 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #196,328 of 2,286,402 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature