Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human now published

About the book:

‘In both Europe and North America it can be argued that the associational and institutional dimensions of the right to freedom of religion or belief are increasingly coming under pressure. This book demonstrates why a more classical understanding of the idea of a liberal democracy can allow for greater respect for the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The book examines the major direction in which liberal democracy has developed over the last fifty years and contends that this is not the most legitimate type of liberal democracy for religiously divided societies. Drawing on theoretical developments in the field of transnational constitutionalism, Hans-Martien ten Napel argues that redirecting the concept and practice of liberal democracy toward the more classical notion of limited, constitutional government, with a considerable degree of autonomy for civil society organizations would allow greater religious pluralism. The book shows how, in a postsecular and multicultural context, modern sources of constitutionalism and democracy, supplemented by premodern, transcendental legitimation, continue to provide the best means of legitimating Western constitutional and political orders.’

For the source, and more information also on how to order the book, see: Routledge.com or Amazon.com.

See also: Interview on project on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom’.

Article ‘This Map Of The State Of Religious Freedom Around The World Is Chilling’

From the article:

‘In many countries around the world, it remains difficult for people of all religions to practice their faith freely. And in others, it’s getting harder.

A Pew Research Center report released Tuesday shows that the number of countries with high levels of religious restrictions ― either from the government or from hostile individuals or groups ― grew overall from 34 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. (…)

Consistent with previous years, the Middle East-North Africa region had the largest percentage of governments that harassed and used force against religious groups (95 percent). European countries came in second, at 89 percent. Europe also experienced the largest increase in government harassment (rising from 17 countries in 2014 to 27 countries in 2015) and use of force against religious groups (going from 15 countries in 2014 to 24 countries in 2015). In particular, Pew pointed to France for cases where individuals were punished for wearing face coverings in public spaces and Russia for prosecuting groups for publicly exercising their religion.’

Read the whole article by Carol Kuruvilla here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pew-global-religious-restrictions_us_58ed070be4b0ca64d919ab12.

In my forthcoming book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human I write that before I left for Princeton I already had the sense that, as the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeld noted in 2012, religious freedom was globally becoming ‘a human right under pressure’. Political scientist Allen D. Hertzke, the editor of a recent volume on the future of the right to freedom of religion or belief, speaks about ‘a profound paradox of our age’, in the sense that ‘at the very time that the value of religious freedom is mounting, the international consensus behind it is weakening (…). Indeed we see not only widespread violations around the world, but looming threats in the West that jeopardize previous gains’.

This is the twelfth post in a new series introducing my new book.

For the first eleven posts, please see:

Article ‘Princeton Seminary Reforms Its Views on Honoring Tim Keller’

Yale Law Professor: ‘American courts are tackling Islamophobia – why won’t Europeans?’

Waarom de PVV niet het initiatief in de kabinetsformatie moet krijgen

New Book: ‘The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation’ (2017)

R.R. Reno on ‘Islam and America’

Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope (2017): ‘Learn How the Seeds of the Trump Presidency Were Sown in the Obama White House’

Major New Report by the National Secular Society: Rethinking Religion and Belief in Public Life

Symposium on Christian Democracy and America: ‘Can Christian Democracy Be America’s Next European Import?’

Journalist Ben Judah, Author of This is London (2016): ‘I Found Faith Everywhere’

The Washington Post on Why Religious Freedom Could Become the Major Religion Story of 2017

Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge) now available for pre-order

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement at Wageningen University & Research: ‘Religion and the Public Realm’

‘Studium Generale explores whether there is such a thing as a “religiously neutral state”. When it comes to religion, how do states’ approaches to secularization shape where “private” and “public” realms begin?

Georganiseerd door Studium Generale
Datum di 18 april 2017
Tijd 20:00
Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115
Stippeneng 2
6708 WE
Wageningen
0317 48 28 28

Where does “private” end and “public” begin when it comes to religion? To explore this, we look at how states’ approaches to secularization have been shaped. Is there such a thing as a “religiously neutral state”?  What tensions have been at the root of the way states position themselves in relation to religion in the public sphere? Dr. Hans-Martien ten Napel will draw on examples from Europe and elsewhere around the world. His accent will be on the case of Great Britain where frameworks were proposed for accommodating differences and diversity in the public realm. Taking political traditions into account, he will explore religion in the public realm from an interdisciplinary perspective.’

Source, and more information: https://www.wur.nl/nl/activiteit/SG-activity-Religion-and-the-Public-Realm-1.htm.

Lid, promotiecommissie, D. van der Blom, ‘De verhouding van staat en religie in een veranderende Nederlandse samenleving’, 6 juli 2016

Blom

‘Door sterk gewijzigde maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen is voor de verhouding van staat en religie in Nederland de laatste decennia meer publieke belangstelling ontstaan dan ooit kon worden voorzien. Daarnaast is deze belangstelling langzamerhand een vraagstuk geworden die belangrijk is voor zowel de Nederlandse samenleving als andere Europese natiestaten.’

Lees hier meer: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/onderzoek/onderzoeksoutput/rechtsgeleerdheid/de-verhouding-van-staat-en-religie-in-een-veranderende-nederlandse-samenleving.

Ph.D. Thesis Committee Member For: D. van der Blom, The Relationship between State and Religion in a Changing Dutch Society

In recent decades, the Netherlands’ struggle with multiculturalism has caused an upsurge in public interest in the relationship between state and religion. In this, the Dutch address a subject relevant not just to them, but to all of Europe.’

Read more here: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-output/law/the-relationship-between-state-and-religion-in-a-changing-dutch-society.

 

Participant, 2016 ICON∙S Conference on ‘Borders, Otherness and Public Law’

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This weekend I am attending the annual conference of the International Society of Public Law in Berlin, Germany.

You can check out the program here: https://icon-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/160616-ICON-S-PROGRAMME-DIGITAL.pdf.

The first panel was entitled ‘The Rule of Law in Europe: Structural Weaknesses in the European Legal Order’:

‘Among europe’s many crises, the “rule of law” crisis is perhaps the most destructive of europe’s common values. some Member states that met the copenhagen criteria to enter the EU would now not be admitted to the EU under those same criteria. what can european institutions do to renew commitments on the part of the Member states to these values?

The above picture was taken during the presentation by Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton).

See for blogposts on earlier ICON-S conferences:

https://hmtennapel.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2015/12/21/paper-presentation-on-the-modern-challenges-of-democracy/; and

https://hmtennapel.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2014/07/06/paper-presentation-imaginations-from-the-other-side-assessing-the-juncture-between-law-history-and-sociology-in-the-study-of-state-religion-interlocutions/.

Participant, event ‘Research on Religion, crucial for Europe’s societies’, Brussels, 17 March 2016

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‘The LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies have written a statement on the importance of research on religion for Europe’s societies. The event aims at translating this statement into practice by showcasing excellent examples. The event is also meant to discuss the statement with a wider public. Policy makers, research funders or anyone with an interest in SSH research in general or religion research in particular, is very welcome to participate.

Programme

10.30 am Registration

11.00

Welcome by Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU

11.10

Introduction by Johannes Zachhuber, Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, University of Oxford

11.30

Religious recognition, presentation by Risto Saarinen, Professor of Ecumenics, University of Helsinki

12.00

Religion in crisis and Roman Catholic self-definition, presentation by Joris Geldhof, Professor Pastoral and Empirical Theology, Mathijs Lamberigts, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and Terrence Merrigan, Professor Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, KU Leuven

12.30

Lunch

1.00 pm

Healthcare Values Partnership, presentation by Andrew Papanikitas, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, University of Oxford

1.30

Muslim-Christian dialogue, presentation by Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies and Assistant Principal Religion and Society, University of Edinburgh

2.00

Q&A followed by discussion

3.00

End’

Source: http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/calendar/research-on-religion-crucial-for-europes-societies/.

For the stement by the LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies, see: http://www.leru.org/files/general/Research%20on%20Religion%20crucial%20for%20Europe’s%20societies_statement_February%202016_docx1.pdf.

About LERU:

‘Since its founding in 2002, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has emerged as a prominent advocate for the promotion of basic research at European universities. LERU strongly believes that basic research plays an essential role in the innovation process and significantly contributes to the progress of society.

LERU aims at furthering the understanding and knowledge of politicians, policy makers and opinion leaders about the role and activities of research-intensive universities. Drawing on the impressive academic potential and expertise of its network, LERU has a strong and significant impact on research policy in Europe.’

Participant, expert seminar ‘Religious Pluralism and Human Rights in Europe: Where to Draw the Line?’, Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Utrecht (9-10 May 2006)

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‘”How should we deal with religious pluralism in contemporary Europe from a human rights perspective and where should we draw the line, if any?” This was the central question of an expert seminar held in 2006 at Utrecht University to celebrate the inaugural address of Abdullahi An-Na’im, who occupied the G.J. Wiarda Chair at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) in 2005/2006. (…)
Though religious pluralism in itself is anything but new in Europe, the influx of large groups of non-Christians, especially Muslims, and the political climate after recent terrorist attacks have profoundly changed the terms of the debate on how to deal with it. Should all religions be treated the same, or is it legitimate to take European Christian heritage into account?
Does religion deserve more protection than culture? What does it mean if we say the State has to be secular and/or neutral? How should freedom of religion be dealt with if it conflicts with other fundamental rights such as sex equality? And how should one approach limitations on the freedom of expression that are related to religion, such as hate speech bans or criminalisation of glorifying terrorism?
The questions are set against the background of modern notions of citizenship and the European human rights framework.’

Source: http://intersentia.com/en/shop/academisch/religious-pluralism-and-human-rights-in-europe.html.

About the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights:

‘SIM is the key centre of expertise of human rights research and education at Utrecht University.

The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights offers internationally oriented study programmes, conducts interdisciplinary research and organises a range of activities in the field of human rights.

History
Established in 1981 as a research support institute for a group of Dutch human rights NGOs, SIM has become integrated into Utrecht University over time. SIM was one of the founders of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research and is the home of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Famous human rights researchers have headed SIM since its creation, including Hans Thoolen, Manfred Nowak, Peter Baehr, Cees Flinterman and Jenny Goldschmidt. Antoine Buyse is SIM’s current director. With a rich tradition and a keen eye voor current and future developments in the field of human rights, SIM is a leading academic research institute and the home base of a vibrant, interdisciplinary and international group of researchers, lecturers, and PhD students.’

– See more at: http://sim.rebo.uu.nl/en/over-ons/#sthash.Klf2stYo.dpuf.

Paper presentation, ‘Multiple Sovereignties and the Principle of Separation of Powers’, IXth World Congress of Constitutional Law, University of Oslo (2014)

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About the Congress:

‘The IACL holds a World Congress every 3-4 years. The IXth Congress will take place in Oslo from 16 to 20 June 2014 and is organised by the Department of Public Law at the University of Oslo in collaboration with the Executive Committee of the IACL. The venue for the Congress is the historic Main Building of the University of Oslo, which is in the centre of the city.
The Congress will take place just one month after the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution which today stands as the second-oldest written Constitution in the world. It is expected that between 300 and 500 participants will attend the Congress, from all regions of the world.
The working languages of the Congress are French and English and simultaneous translation will be provided in plenary sessions.
The IACL uses two principal formats for the scholarly programme of a World Congress: plenary sessions and workshops. Plenary sessions are open to all participants while workshops are smaller and discussion-based. There will be four plenary sessions in this Congress, each of which lasts for 3½ hours.’

About the workshop during which the paper was presented (‘The mutations and transformation of division of powers: the constitutional organization’):

‘The classical characteristics of the Legislative and Executive Powers, which have scarcely changed since the origins of liberal constitutionalism (XVIIIXIX), are no longer adequate concepts or theoretical devices for explaining constitutional reality.

Every division of powers rests on the willingness of a constitutional assembly to divide the power with the purpose of avoiding the abuse of power and tyranny. The search for a system of checks and balances is then based on a liberal conception of political power. Therefore the main instrument to realize this balanced frame is to organize a moderate and representative government as was defended by Montesquieu and other authors; a limited power – they thought – should exclude arbitrariness and despotism.

But it becomes necessary to maintain two essential ingredients of the spirit of division of powers: the efficiency of this frame of government and the limitation of powers itself. The first ensures the supreme and general interest of a community; the second guarantees the fundamental rights and private interests of individuals. Thus both requirements must condition the development of the political society that every Constitution leads.

The issue of division of powers is however, nowadays, clearly renewed, because not only do the Executive and the Legislative powers play a main role within constitutional organization, but also those two classical powers have been submitted to strong transformations. Besides, modern constitutional provisions have created many new organs and powers, taking into account new circumstances and techniques.

On one hand, the judiciary power has affirmed itself step by step as a counter power of political and representative power. On the other hand, there are other powers with a diverse nature and quite different from those organized by the constitution:

the economic and financial powers,
international organizations which can be founded on different bedrocks,
lobbies which represent the interest of different groups in a society or even
collective and minority interests (religions, languages, costumes, regional or national identities), or
media powers.
These entities do not belong to the democratic and representative circuit provided inside constitutions. Those new realities and scenarios should probably be present in the philosophy of the contemporary constitutional organization. We must also underline the existence of supranational organizations, in particular in Europe and Latin America, as well as their intense impact on the transformation of the domestic division of power within the States.’

For sources and additional information, see:

http://www.iacl-aidc.org/en/events/previous-events/103-oslo-congress-oslo-congress-16-20-june-2014;

http://www.jus.uio.no/english/research/news-and-events/events/conferences/2014/wccl-cmdc/wccl/program/workshops/workshop15.html.

[At my request, my own paper was removed from the list of ‘accepted papers’ for copyright purposes.]

Discussant, ‘Values for Europe’ conference, Christian Political Foundation for Europe, The Hague (2012)

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‘”Values for Europe” conference in The Hague

Friday 27 April 2012

At April 27, the ECPF held a congress about the European Union in The Hague, together with the Research Institute of the ChristenUnie party.

The beautiful Old Meeting Hall of the Dutch House of Representatives was full with congress participants that afternoon. The timing of the congress could not have been better, because just in that week important negotiations had taken place about the 2013 budget, in which the ChristenUnie had taken the lead. Budget cuts are necessary because of European agreements in the Stability- and Growth Pact.

Researchers Luitwieler and Ten Napel and politicians Slob and Van Dalen were speakers at the congress. Over 80 attendants participated in the conference.

Dr. Sander Luitwieler, researcher for the ECPF ‘Europe’s Values’ study project, encouraged the Dutch ChristenUnie party to speak henceforth both positive and critical about the European Union. In the Christian political philosophical tradition originating from neo-Calvinism, ‘public justice’ is seen as the core political norm for the task of government.

Luitwieler stated that public justice can be applied also at a supranational level, such as that of the European Union. Public justice can help policy makers to balance multiple interests. Justice should be the leading principle, not the laws of economics and the financial markets.

At the moment, Europe is at a crosspoint between, at the one side, a financial crisis, and, at the other side, also a crisis of legitimacy. The Dutch cabinet has fallen also more or less because of the developments in Europe. The European desire for further integration runs up against a lack of support. This can only be countered if the EU itself recognizes where it is good at and when it also guarantees cultural diversity between member states.

Constitutional law scholar prof. Hans Martien ten Napel argued for ‘a higher form of tolerance’ in Europe than just escaping sensitive issues. Remaining silent about the name of God in a constitution is not religiously impartial. Based on the thought of European law professor Joseph Weiler, Ten Napel observed a ‘Christian deficit’ in Europe.

This is shown in the fact that many academics, especially on the history of European integration, neglect the Christian heritage of Europe. European integration was not defended because of the process itself or because of the results, but because of the ideals that were the foundation for it. Now Europe is increasingly post-Christian, also the European idealism (Weiler even calls it ‘European messianism’) disappears.

Peter van Dalen MEP suggested that research should be done on the possible future of the eurozone. Might it be a good idea to introduce an adjusted euro for countries like Greece and Spain, so that countries can develop their economies in their own ways, taking into account their own possibilities? It has become clear that the current way to deal with the crisis has not led to a solution.’

Source: http://www.ecpf.info/k/n34705/news/view/522996/581712/values-for-europe-conference-in-the-hague.html.

About CPFE:

‘The Christian Political Foundation for Europe (CPFE, formerly ECPF) is an association that acts as the political foundation for the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM). The CPFE supports and underpins the ECPM especially in terms of political content by European co-operation and the introduction of analysis, ideas and policy options.

The CPFE shares the basic program and Christian values of the ECPM. As association the CPFE welcomes thinktanks, NGO’s and individual politicians as members if they agree with these values and the Christian-democrat principles as expressed in the basic program.

The CPFE has three main goals among which its activities will be organized:

  • Connecting Christian inspired think-tanks and NGOs and starting a process of exchange of knowledge and experience. The CPFE website will become a European portal to many organizations, virtual libraries and information on many fields of policy. Also a database will be developed that will help parties, politicians and other organizations in their work.
  • Informing parties and politicians at the national level on important European policy developments that will enable them to react early and efficiently on ideas coming from the EU institutions. This work will be accompanied by actual policy comments.
  • Creating new ideas and approaches to the challenges in a globalised world and a global economy. The CPFE supports in-depth study projects that highlight and work from Christian inspiration. The CPFE wants to formulate attractive alternatives for the dominant secular dogmas in culture and economics.’

About Sander Luitwieler’s book A community of peoples: Europe’s values and public justice in the EU:

http://www.ecpf.info/acommunityofpeople.