Every successive generation finds fresh reasons for the study of natural law. Current interest in the natural law may well be due to a pervasive moral pessimism in the Western cultural context and wider contemporary geopolitical challenges. Those geopolitical challenges result from two significant and worrisome global developments – unprecedented violent persecution of religious minorities on several continents and a growing climate of secular hostility toward religious faith in Western societies. Natural Law and Religious Freedom aims to address what is relatively absent from the literature by demonstrating the importance of natural law ethics in both establishing and preserving basic human rights, of which religious freedom has pride of place.
Probing contemporary challenges to natural law thinking that are both internal and external to religious faith, and examining the character and constitution of natural law ethics, Natural Law and Religious Freedom will be of interest to theologians, ethicists and philosophers as well as policy analysts, politicians and activists who are concerned to anchor religious freedom and human rights policy considerations in an enduring way.
1 Introduction – Religious Freedom as the "First Freedom": What It Is and Why It Matters; 2 Natural Law and Our Cultural and Religious Traditions; 3 Religious Freedom, Natural Law, and the American Experiment; 4 Second Thoughts on "Pluralism," "Neutrality," and "Tolerance"; 5 Natural Law, Human Dignity, and Human Moral Obligation; 6 The Natural-Law Underpinnings of Religious Freedom – A Closer Look: Justice and Neighbor-Love in Symbiosis; 7 Human Personhood, Moral Truth, and What Is at Stake: A Test-Case; 8 Conclusion