1st Edition

Human Dignity, Religion and the Law Pluralism and Reasonable Accommodation of Religious Practices

Edited By Mark Hill QC, María-José Valero-Estarellas Copyright 2025
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    The concept of human dignity is already embedded in the constitutional architecture of the European Union and throughout the world, but it remains a slippery and elusive concept. In this volume, leading commentators from across the globe address the shift from the monolithic influence of major world religions in the past towards religious pluralism coupled with the increased secularism of civil society. The contributors, drawn from different backgrounds and traditions, explore how the deployment of a nuanced understanding of human dignity can provide a way to maximise religious liberty for all within liberal democracies. Specific consideration is given to the reasonable accommodation of religious practices through exemptions to generally applicable laws, conscientious objection on the grounds of religious beliefs, the interplay between religious pluralism and legal pluralism, balancing religious sensibilities with same-sex marriage, exercising the right to change one’s religion, both generally and with a particular focus on data protection, protecting the right to asylum in the light of recent changes in migratory flows, and exploring its impact on those enjoying non-theistic beliefs, as well as the complex relationship between the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Churches in these febrile times. Through the prism of informed investigation of these matters of specificity, the volume offers readers fresh insights and analysis which collectively contribute to an overall picture of governments in liberal democracies being encouraged and enabled to foster laws and practices whereby pluralism can be encouraged, and human dignity can flourish. The book will be of interest to academics, researchers and policy-makers working in the areas of Law and Religion, Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law and International Relations.

    Chapter 1

    Human Dignity, Religious Pluralism and Reasonable Accommodation: An Introductory Overview

    Mark Hill KC

    Chapter 2

    A Secular Liberal Defence of Freedom of Religion: The Case for a Duty of Reasonable Accommodation

    András Sajó and Renáta Uitz

    Chapter 3

    Conscientious Objection to Unconstitutional Duties: A Conceptual Trap

    Fernando Simón Yarza

    Chapter 4

    Legal Pluralism in German Scholarship: Its Application for Religious Freedom

    Burkhard Berkmann

    Chapter 5

    Reforming Weddings Law in England and Wales

    Frank Cranmer

    Chapter 6

    Challenging the Right to Change Religion or Belief: Interpreting Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

    Mirjam van Schaik and Jasper Doomen

    Chapter 7

    Leaving or Changing religion in the European Union Law: The impact of Data Protection Regulation

    Fabio Balsamo

    Chapter 8

    State Law or Religious Precepts: The Right to Asylum

    Stefano Testa Bappenheim

    Chapter 9

    Refugee Law, Atheism and Religious Persecution

    Silvia Baldassarre

    Chapter 10

    The Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church and Catholic Proselytism

    Marianna Napolitano


    Mark Hill KC practises at the Bar in London and is Global Professor of Law and Distinguished Fellow at the University of Notre Dame London Law Programme.

    María-José Valero-Estarellas is Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation and Associate Professor of Law at Universidad Internacional Villanueva in Madrid.