Bernie Sanders, Tim Farron, and the regime change which has taken place within liberalism

In my new book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017), I note how partly under the influence of the social and cultural revolution of the 1960s, liberalism has arguably developed from a means of managing diversity in the direction of an ideological agenda of its own. Illustrative of this development is that for certain scholars it has now become a question mark if, and to what extent, religion should be tolerated at all within a liberal democracy.

For more information on the book, go here:

Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human.

See also:

Press Release: ‘Hans-Martien ten Napel has book published “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human”’.

 

 

Book Recommendations (I): Nicholas Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy (2012)

About the book:

Understanding Liberal Democracy presents notable work by Nicholas Wolterstorff at the intersection between political philosophy and religion. Alongside his influential earlier essays, it includes nine new essays in which Wolterstorff develops original lines of argument and stakes out novel positions regarding the nature of liberal democracy, human rights, and political authority. Taken together, these positions are an attractive alternative to the so-called public reason liberalism defended by thinkers such as John Rawls. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, political theorists, and theologians, engaging a wide audience of those interested in how best to understand the nature of liberal democracy and its relation to religion.’

About the author:

‘Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University. Currently he is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, at the University of Virginia. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association, and of the Society of Christian Philosophers; he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the lectures he has given are the Wilde Lectures at Oxford University, the Gifford Lectures at St Andrews University, and the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary. He has published over twenty books including On Universals, Works and Worlds of Art, Art in Action, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, Reason within the Bounds of Religion, Divine Discourse, John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology, Educating for Shalom, Lament for a Son, Justice: Rights and Wrongs and Justice in Love.’

Source, and more information: Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy. Essays in Political Philosophy.

As I write in the introduction to my new book, Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017), I have found that some of the most worthwhile books on liberal democracy which have been published in recent years, have been authored, for example, by ethicists and philosophers. You can read part of the introduction to my book here.

As I demonstrate in the third chapter of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human, Wolterstorff’s Understanding Liberal Democracy is a major example of such a worthwhile book.

See also Twelve posts introducing my new book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human

Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human now also available as eBook

See:

eBook (VitalSource)

Kindle (Amazon)

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. In Medias Res: Communal Religious Freedom under Pressure

2. Social Pluralist Constitutionalism

3. Pluriform Democracy

4. A Generous Conception of Religious Freedom

Conclusion: “A Horizon of Beauty”

Press Release: ‘Hans-Martien ten Napel has book published “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human”’

’18 May 2017

In 2014 Hans-Martien ten Napel received a Research Fellowship in Legal Studies at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ. The book he wrote as a result of this fellowship was published last week by Routledge Law.

The description of the book, entitled Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human, is as follows:

‘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.’

Research Fellowship in Legal Studies Hans Martien ten Napel

More information about the book

Interview in 2015 with Hans-Martien ten Napel about the research project

Source: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2017/05/hans-martien-ten-napel-published-book-constitutionalism-democracy-and-religious-freedom.-to-be-fully-human

For the Dutch version of the press release, please see: Hans-Martien ten Napel publiceert boek “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human”

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’.

Blogpost ‘Something Fundamental is at Stake in the Dutch Parliamentary Elections’

Geert Wilders’ PVV Party believes that Islam is a totalitarian ideology and not a religion, and thus Muslims are not equally entitled to the same freedom of religion or belief as other believers. This view is incompatible with liberal democracy.

Read the whole blogpost here: http://leidenlawblog.nl/articles/something-fundamental-is-at-stake-in-the-dutch-parliamentary-elections.

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

‘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 post-secular 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 more information, and to pre-order, see:

https://www.routledge.com/Constitutionalism-Democracy-and-Religious-Freedom-To-be-Fully-Human/ten-Napel/p/book/9781138647152;

https://www.amazon.com/Constitutionalism-Democracy-Religious-Freedom-Religion/dp/1138647152 (USA);

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Constitutionalism-Democracy-Religious-Freedom-Religion/dp/1138647152/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1485007049&sr=8-8&keywords=constitutionalism+democracy (United Kingdom);

https://www.amazon.de/Constitutionalism-Democracy-Religious-Freedom-Religion/dp/1138647152/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485007114&sr=8-1&keywords=Constitutionalism+democracy+religious+freedom (Germany);

https://www.bol.com/nl/p/constitutionalism-democracy-and-religious-freedom/9200000055900993/ (Netherlands).

Upcoming Speaking Engagement, Seventh International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society, 17-18 April 2017, Imperial College London, London, UK

ReligionFrontCover

‘The Religion and Spirituality in Society knowledge community sets out in its conference, journal, book series and online community, to describe, analyze and interpret the role of religion in society. The community’s intellectual project is neutral with respect to the agendas of particular religions or explicit counterpoints to religion such as agnosticism or atheism.’

‘The Seventh International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society features research addressing the following annual themes and the 2017 Special Focus.

THEME 1: RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS THEME 2: RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY AND SOCIALIZATION THEME 3: RELIGIOUS COMMONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES THEME 4: THE POLITICS OF RELIGION​ 2017 Special Focus: Respecting Difference, Understanding Globalism’

Source, and more information: http://religioninsociety.com/2017-conference.

My own contribution is entitled ‘The Significance of Institutional Religious Freedom for Liberal Democracy’:

Questions surrounding the institutional dimension of religious freedom are among the most fundamental of our time. The reason for this is that they raise important issues regarding liberal democracy as such. As Jean L. Cohen pointed out, one of the reasons for this is because institutional religious freedom puts the sovereignty of the state, which has already eroded externally, also under pressure internally. As a result, the topic of institutional religious freedom is not just relevant to specialists in the right to freedom of religion or belief, or even human rights for that matter, but also from a more general religious studies point of view. Cohen considers it problematic that state sovereignty comes under pressure from communal religious freedom, because this constitutes a return to Medieval times. According to her, the idea of liberal democracy rests upon a monistic sovereignty conception. Although this is certainly a legitimate proposition, and probably the current dominant one, the proposed paper will argue in favour of a more inclusive conception of liberal democracy. According to this conception, within liberal democracy there is also room for those who adhere to a jurisdictional approach to religious freedom, i.e. recognise multiple sovereignties in a liberal democracy.

See: http://cgpublisher.com/conferences/384/proposals/50/index_html.

Blogpost ‘On the Close Connection between Religious Freedom and Liberal Democracy’

Thesis_defense_Aaron_R._Petty2-260x160

The individual dimension of religious freedom constitutes a foundation for the institutional dimension of the same right. Institutional religious autonomy is, in turn, foundational for the notion of limited government and as such for liberal democracy.

Read more here: http://leidenlawblog.nl/articles/on-the-close-connection-between-religious-freedom-and-liberal-democracy.

Presentation during Cardiff Festival for Law and Religion

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‘The Cardiff Festival of Law and Religion on May 5th and 6th at Cardiff University celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff University, the first degree of its type in a British University since the Reformation.

A number of events are being held to reflect upon how the study of Law and Religion has developed over the last twenty-five years and the likely future trajectory. This includes the 2016 Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Conference, a keynote address by Professor David Little, a celebratory dinner and the launch of F Cranmer, M Hill, C Kenny and R Sandberg (ed) The Confluence of Law and Religion: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Work of Norman Doe (Cambridge University Press, 2016).’

My own presentation was entitled: ‘The “New Critics of Religious Freedom” and the Inspiration they Unintentionally Provide’.

The summary of the paper reads as follows:

The ‘New Critics of Religious Freedom’ have become increasingly vocal of late. The first part of the paper will summarise their main criticisms, some of which contain a considerable amount of truth, such as that the right to freedom of religion or belief has historically been heavily influenced by Christianity in general and Protestantism in particular.

The second part of the paper will argue that at first sight there also appears to be one major downside to the criticisms. As it turns out to be hardly possible to isolate the right to freedom of religion or belief from the general idea of a democratic constitutional state, what the critics are really questioning is the current state of Western liberal democracy as a whole.

The third part of the paper will propose that the reason for this close connection between religious freedom and the democratic constitutional state lies in the fact that the latter has clearly been influenced by Christianity as well. Still, the new critics of religious freedom may on closer inspection also serve as a source of inspiration for a necessary, theologically driven reform of some of the central tenets of liberal democracy as it has developed in recent decades.

For more information, see: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/clr/networks/The%20Cardiff%20Festival%20for%20Law%20and%20Religion%20Full%20Programme.pdf.