Spaces of Tolerance : Changing Geographies and Philosophies of Religion in Today’s Europe book cover
1st Edition

Spaces of Tolerance
Changing Geographies and Philosophies of Religion in Today’s Europe

ISBN 9781032087658
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
248 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers interdisciplinary and cross-national perspectives on the challenges of negotiating the contours of religious tolerance in Europe.

In today’s Europe, religions and religious individuals are increasingly framed as both an internal and external security threat. This is evident in controls over the activities of foreign preachers but also, more broadly, in EU states’ management of migration flows, marked by questions regarding the religious background of migrating non-European Others. This book addresses such shifts directly by examining how understandings of religious freedom touch down in actual contexts, places, and practices across Europe, offering multidisciplinary insights from leading thinkers from political theory, political philosophy, anthropology, and geography. The volume thus aims to ground ideal liberal democratic theory and, at the same time, to bring normative reflection to grounded, ethnographic analyses of religious practices. Such ‘grounded’ understandings matter, for they speak to how religions and religious difference are encountered in specific places. They especially matter in a European context where religion and religious difference are increasingly not just securitised but made the object of violent attacks.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, philosophy, geography, religious studies, and the sociology and anthropology of religion.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Spaces of tolerance: Theories, Contested Practices and the Question of Context
– Luiza Bialasiewicz and Valentina Gentile

PART I: Negotiating Freedom and Religion: Tolerance, Neutrality, Conviviality

Chapter 1. The Scope of Religious Freedom in Europe: Tolerance, Democratic Equality and Political Autonomy – Valentina Gentile

Chapter 2. Neutrality, Toleration, and Religious Diversity – Peter Balint

Chapter 3. Toleration and Tolerance: Between Belief and Identity – Peter Jones

Chapter 4. Infrastructures for Living with Difference - Dan Swanton

PART II: Securing and Securitizing Religious Tolerance

Chapter 5. Religious Toleration and the Securitization of Religion - Sune Laegaard

Chapter 6. Militant secularism versus Tolerant Pluralism. A critical assessment of the European Court of Human Rights - Margherita Galassini

Chapter 7. The Limits of Toleration towards Syrian Refugees in Turkey: From Guesthood to Ansar Spirit - Ayhan Kaya and Ozan Kuyumcuoglu

PART III: Everyday Spaces of Tolerance

Chapter 8. Paradoxical Visibilities: Purpose Built Mosques in Copenhagen - Lasse Koefoed, Maja de Neergaard and Kirsten Simonsen

Chapter 9. Mediating (in)visibility and publicity in an African church in Ghent: religious place-making and solidarity in the European city - Luce Beeckmans

Chapter 10. Charity, hospitality, tolerance? Religious organizations and the changing vocabularies of migrant assistance in Rome - Luiza Bialasiewicz and William Haynes

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Luiza Bialasiewicz is a political geographer and Professor of European Governance at the University of Amsterdam, where she also co-directs the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). Her research focuses on European migration policy, within European cities and at the borders of Europe.

Valentina Gentile is Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy at LUISS University of Rome and Guest Professor at Antwerp University. She specialises in normative political philosophy, liberal theory, and the work of John Rawls. Her research focuses on stability, pluralism and reciprocity, tolerance, and equality.


"This exciting collection of original articles addresses both theoretical and practical questions about toleration. It does so in ways that throw fresh light on the complex problems of understanding and negotiating the 'spaces', both literally and metaphorically, for the practice of toleration in a wide variety of contexts, with particular but not exclusive reference to the sphere of religious toleration. Anyone who is seriously interested in toleration should find plenty to think about in this stimulating and sometimes provocative book."

- John Horton, Professor Emeritus of Political Philosophy, Keele University, UK