Freedom of Religion and Religious Pluralism


Religious pluralism is an important aspiration of contemporary societies, meaning that religious diversity is permitted and everyone has the freedom of religion or belief, or not to believe. The peaceful coexistence of people of a myriad of faiths is indispensable for securing peace in the modern era of political upheaval and economic dissonance.

This book brings together a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives on religious pluralism. It explores the key philosophical and legal issues associated with religious freedom and social harmony. Freedom of Religion and Religious Pluralism intends to serve as a valuable resource for scholars specialising in religion, citizenship, and migration studies. It will also act as a reference for courses on law, religion, and human rights.
Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan, Ph.D., The University of Queensland, Australia, is currently a Humboldt research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Germany. He is the co-editor of Religious Freedom in the Secular States: A 21st Century Perspective (Brill, 2022).

Carla M Zoethout is professor of Constitutional law, Open University, the Netherlands and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam. Recent publications appeared in Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan and Darryn Jensen (eds), Law and Religion in the Liberal State (2020) and in Archiv für Rechts- un Sozial Philosophie (2020).
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Notes on Editors
Notes on Contributors

PART 1: Religious Freedom from the Perspective of Religions

1 Freedom of Religion and Religious Pluralism: An Introduction
Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan and Carla M. Zoethout
2 Bhakti and Its Songs: Hindu Devotion as a Gateway to Religious Harmony
Neelima Shukla-Bhatt
3 Religious Pluralism and Freedom in Islam
Muhamad Ali
4 Religious Pluralism, Religious Freedom, and Christianity
S. Mark Heim

PART 2: Concepts and Dimensions in Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism

5 Religious Freedom as a Human Right
Göran Gunner
6 Pluralism, Pastafarianism and the Scope of the Freedom of Religion
Paul Cliteur and Carla M. Zoethout

PART 3: Issues in Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism

7 The Turn to Belief and How the Discourse of Religious Freedom Marginalises Minority Religions in Australia
Elenie Poulos
8 The U.S. Supreme Court’s New Religious Discrimination Doctrine and the Privileges of “Majoritarian” Religions
Frank S. Ravitch
9 Protection against Religious Hatred
Luca Farrow and Paul Hedges
10 Church Autonomy in the United States
Christopher C. Lund
11 Religious Freedom and the Business Corporation
Ronald J. Colombo
12 Legal Approaches to the Individual Manifestation of Religion in the Workplace: A Study of England and Wales
Andrew Hambler
13 Walking on a High Wire – The European Court of Human Rights and the Challenge of Balancing the Rights to Freedom of Expression and the Protection of Religion/Belief under the ECHR
Peter Cumper and Tom Lewis
14 Liberalism, Religious Pluralism, and the Environment
P. T. Babie

This book is targeted at readers from a variety of disciplines, including researchers, lawyers, religious leaders, policymakers, political scientists and those with an interest in this rapidly evolving field.
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