1st Edition

Liberalism’s Religion Cécile Laborde and Her Critics

Edited By Aurelia Bardon, Jeffrey W. Howard Copyright 2020
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    How should liberalism understand – and deal with – religion? Cécile Laborde offers powerful new answers in her book Liberalism’s Religion; this collection subjects that theory to critical scrutiny from an array of scholars, thereby advancing the scholarly debate.

    Religion has recently become the object of a significant and growing literature in legal and political philosophy, for example: What does it mean to guarantee religious freedom? When the religious freedom of some citizens appears in conflict with the religious freedom of others, what should be done? May religious reasons be legitimately invoked to justify political decisions, or should they be excluded from public deliberation? In the recent literature, the dominant liberal response to these questions is based on an egalitarian theory of religion.

    In her major new work, Liberalism’s Religion, Cécile Laborde argues that the prevailing liberal-egalitarian approach toward religion is misguided and in need of crucial revision. In doing so, she offers powerful and original answers, organised by her distinctive thesis that liberals must radically rethink how we conceive religion itself. This volume subjects her powerful new theory to scrutiny from an array of scholars, engaging each dimension of it. The volume includes a comprehensive reply by Laborde to the various points raised by these scholars, and therefore moves the debate forward, highlighting key issues that should be addressed in the future in the literature on religion and political philosophy.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

    Introduction: Laborde, liberalism, and religion, Aurélia Bardon and Jeffrey W. Howard
    1. Laborde’s religion, Sune Lægaard
    2. Is epistemic accessibility enough? Same-sex marriage, tradition, and the Bible, Aurélia Bardon
    3. Defending broad neutrality, Jeffrey W. Howard
    4. On Liberalism’s Religion, Jean L. Cohen
    5. Liberalism and religion: The plural grounds of separation, Chiara Cordelli
    6. The integrity of religious believers, Paul Bou-Habib
    7. Individual integrity, freedom of association, and religious exemption, Peter Jones
    8. Religion and discrimination: extending the ‘disaggregative approach’, Daniel Sabbagh
    9. Three cheers for liberal Modesty, Cécile Laborde


    Aurélia Bardon is Junior Professor in Political Theory at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Her research focuses on public justification, religion, secularism, and liberal neutrality.

    Jeffrey W. Howard is Associate Professor of Political Theory at University College London, UK. He writes on free speech, criminal punishment, and democratic theory.