Tag Archives: religious freedom

Guest Lecture on “Natural Law, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom”

Beautiful place to give a guest talk this morning: The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Distress in Heiloo, North-Holland.

The lecture was on “Natural Law, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom.”

The audience consisted of a group of talented leaders of the Christian Democratic Youth Appeal.

Other speakers during the weekend included Minister of  State Piet Hein Donner.

See also:

Entry on Christian Democracy in Encyclopedia of Political Thought

Canon of Dutch Christian Democracy now also available in English

Paper presentation ‘Creed or Structure? Christian Democratic Vision and Attitudes towards Liberal Democracy’

Brief photo impression of the Annual Conference 2019 of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna, Italy

Returning to Bologna felt like coming home this week. A big thank you to the European Academy of Religion for making the Annual Conference 2019 once again such an inspiring event.

A brief photo impression of some personal trivia and highlights:

Alway good to see my recent book on display.

At the conference photo booth.

Second panel on public theology and natural law.

Gala dinner in Palazzo Re Enzo.

Excellent paper by Prof. Gnana Patrick (University of Madras) on the relevance of public theology to the Indian context.

Theologian John Milbank speaking during an impromptu interview session on Radical Orthodoxy in the Modern Philosophy of Religion panel.

Very appropriate after organizing two panels on James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies: visit to the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore, an historic Roman Catholic church, serving a monastery of Augustinian Friars.

See also:

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

 

New review of book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) in Ecclesiastical Law Journal

A new review of my book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal:

‘This book is an enjoyably spry reflection on the pitfalls of aggressive secularism and the atomistic tendencies of modern liberal individualism. Ten Napel deploys comparative legal method, interdisciplinary scholarship and social pluralist thought from Burke to neo-Calvinism (pp 12–18) but does not try to reinvent the wheel; the book’s thesis and scope are refreshingly modest. (…)

Ten Napel makes several important contributions. He paints a compelling picture of the deleterious effects of the 1960s revolution on liberalism. Anyone concerned with the fact that “liberal” is fast becoming a term of abuse will find much to admire here. He does a very good job of collating international strands of pluralism and committing them to the defence of a strong civil society. For a fellow traveller more familiar with the Anglo-German school of pluralism (Gierke, Maitland and Figgis), the exotic sources on display are fascinating novelties. Napel’s gentle conservatism never strays into polemic and this makes his timely plea for a more historically literate, culturally grounded and community-oriented vision of religious liberty all the more potent.’

Read the full review here:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ecclesiastical-law-journal/article/constitutionalism-democracy-and-religious-freedom-to-be-fully-human-hansmartien-ten-napel-routledge-london-2017-ix-169-pp-hardback-10500-isbn-9781138647152/311E9C67DB049649CD22217024336620

See also:

Article ‘Institutional Religious Freedom in Review’

Book Review of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom in Journal of Markets & Morality

Review of book on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human’

Upcoming Paperback Release

Pleased to announce that the editorial board of Routledge have decided to publish my book Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) in paperback. They anticipate publication in March 2019.

Preview PDF here: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781317236917?fbclid=IwAR0aiJiTnvOvWAv57HCS1vkwLAiNNTp1BU96knPp-GC4MGxh5P6DB82JzWw

A Media Review Copy Request Form for my book is available here: https://pages.email.taylorandfrancis.com/review-copy-request

For some earlier reviews of the book, see:

“Liberalism’s got problems. On this, most of us can agree. Hans-Martien ten Napel’s newest book is no exception to that emerging consensus. Ten Napel’s book is part of the zeitgeist of new sensational works on the crisis of liberalism, James K.A. Smith’s Awaiting the King and Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed, which argue that we have hit ‘peak liberalism.’ Happily, ten Napel seems far less pessimistic, though. Rather, as Charles Taylor would describe his own work in A Secular Age, it is a kind of loyal opposition to constitutional liberalism: not a revolutionary attempt to dispose of it, but an effort to alert us to the resources inside liberalism’s own often forgotten or marginalized canon, especially religious ones, that may enlarge its virtues and minimize its vices.” Robert Joustra, Review of Faith & International Affairs (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15570274.2018.1469823?journalCode=rfia20&).

“To sum up, the book Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom: To Be Fully Human is a well-written text on such important issues for contemporary societies as freedom of religion or belief in its communal form, freedom of conscience, and civic activity. It attempts to show an integral approach to the human being. This integral approach should strive to create such an ethos in which a full development of the human being is possible. By a full development is meant such a condition in which this being can manifest his or her beliefs not only within the privacy of his or her home but also in public without any fear of oppression or discrimination. If citizens are forced to hide their religious views, they are doomed to be inauthentic selves, and will always feel a kind of schizophrenia.” Prof. Jan Klos Hab. Ph.D., Journal of Markets and Morality (https://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/article/view/1331).

“Ten Napel heeft al met al een heel fraai boek opgeleverd. Het is vooral ook een boek dat het verdient breder gelezen te worden dan binnen de kringen van de internationale constitutionele rechtswetenschap. Juist ook voor het Nederlandse publieke debat vormt dit boek nadrukkelijk een theoretische versterking tegenover al te secularistische (en daarmee potentieel zelfondermijnende) benaderingen van democratie, rechtsstaat en religieuze vrijheid. Er staat, kortom, veel op het spel met deze thematiek. Niets minder dan To be fully human.'” R.J. (Robert) van Putten MSc MA, Radix. Tijdschrift over geloof, wetenschap en samenleving. https://www.forumc.nl/radix/recente-nummers/773-radix-nummer-2-2019 (https://www.forumc.nl/radix/recente-nummers/773-radix-nummer-2-2019).

“Ten Napel’s book is illuminating precisely because he begins by accepting the fact of deep differences of worldview, both in concepts and in practices, and by assuming as the default for public policy the accommodation of diversity, rather than a striving for uniformity. This means giving full value to non-religious, along with religious, reasons not to go along with the public consensus and generally accepted laws. Also, especially, fully to accept that civil society–nonprofits, houses of worship, companies–is a major component of our lives and not to be ignored in considering how to achieve a unity that respects diversity.” Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies (http://www.irfalliance.org/institutional-religious-freedom-in-review/).

Author profile:

https://www.routledge.com/authors/i18338-hans-martien-ten-napel

Winner of the International Award for Excellence for The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 8

‘Champaign, Ill., USA – 16 November 2018 – The Religion in Society Research Network is pleased to announce the selection of “The Significance of Communal Religious Freedom for Liberal Democracy,” Hans-Martien ten Napel, as the winner of the International Award for Excellence for Volume 8 of The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society. This article was selected for the award from among the highest-ranked articles emerging from the peer-review process and according to the selection criteria outlined in the peer-review guidelines.

About The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society aims to create an intellectual frame of reference for the academic study of religion and spirituality and to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of religion and spirituality in society. The journal addresses the need for critical discussion on religious issues—specifically as they are situated in the present-day contexts of ethics, warfare, politics, anthropology, sociology, education, leadership, artistic engagement, and the dissonance or resonance between religious tradition and modern trends.’

About the awarded article:

The main argument of my recent book Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017) is that the so-called ‘New Critics of Religious Freedom’ in fact, consciously or unconsciously, criticize liberal democracy as such. Now, it has become quite common for liberal democracy to be criticized not just outside the West, but also from within the West. My book constitutes an exception to this rule in that it is written in defense of liberal democracy and, consequently, also in defense of the so-called liberal conception of the right to religious freedom. The awarded article reflects the same argument that the book aims to make. Earlier versions of the article were presented during the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Erfurt, Germany, 23-29 August 2015; the Cardiff Festival for Law and Religion, Cardiff, Wales, 5-6 May 2017; and the Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law, Copenhagen, Denmark, 5-7 July 2017. In its emphasis on the role of anthropology, among other things, the article also reflects the Acton University Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that I attended from 20-23 June 2017. If I remember correctly, I wrote its final draft during the flight home from that occasion. I am grateful to the two anonymous referees from whose comments on that draft the article benefited greatly. Hopefully, the publication of this article and the current award will help to open the eyes of scholars outside my discipline to what I consider to be the beauty of liberal democracy in general and the right to religious freedom in particular as it was initially conceived during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Read the awarded article here: https://religioninsociety.com/journal/awards#block-2.

See also:

Article on ‘The Significance of Communal Religious Freedom for Liberal Democracy’ in the International Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Society

Artikel ‘Geloof in de liberale democratie’ in Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

 

Article on ‘The Significance of Communal Religious Freedom for Liberal Democracy’ in the International Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Society

The abstract of the article reads as follows:

‘Leading US scholar of constitutional interpretation Michael Paulsen has developed an interesting theory of religious freedom called “The Priority of God.” Paulsen distinguishes, first of all, a liberal conception of religious freedom, according to which it is widely assumed that religious truth exists in a society and the state is tolerant towards various faiths and other traditions. The US, however, has developed in the direction of a modern conception of religious freedom, which no longer recognizes religious truth although the state remains tolerant. Moreover, still according to Paulsen, several European countries have adopted a postmodern conception of religious freedom. This conception does not only no longer recognize religious truth, but also implies a considerably less tolerant state, as secularism becomes the established “religion.” This view paradoxically resembles the preliberal stance of religious intolerance out of the conviction that religious truth exists. In response to such developments, the current article makes a case for the classical liberal position with respect to religious freedom. A liberal religious freedom conception forms the best guarantee that societal institutions will be able to fulfill their constitutional functions of a check on the government and as “seedbeds of virtue.”’

See https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/the-significance-of-communal-religious-freedom-for-liberal-democracy?category_id=common-ground-publishing.

See also:

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Conference on ‘Public Spirit and Public Virtue’, December 6, 2017, Washington, DC

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: 2017 ICON∙S Conference on ‘Courts, Power, and Public Law’, Copenhagen, July 5-7

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

 

Book Review of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom in Journal of Markets & Morality

I am grateful to Prof. Jan Klos Hab. Ph.D. for taking the effort to write a review of my book for the Journal of Markets & Morality.

Jan Klos is a Professor at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Particular Ethics. He specializes in the history of social and political doctrines. Courses taught include philosophical foundations of political doctrines, foundations of American democracy, and political system of America.

In the review, Klos raises several interesting points regarding the book, to which I hope to respond some other time.

On p. 206, Prof. Klos writes:

‘The author does well to stress the importance of such nonstate actors as families and schools in the efforts to check the power of the state. Political and legal constitutionalism collaborate, as we know, in the separation between the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. This kind of separation, however, does not in and of itself suffice for a mature civil society to be formed. I think that this point should be especially emphasized. With regard to constitutionalism and the right to freedom of religion or belief, more is needed than separation of political and legal powers. As Professor ten Napel writes, one should also “acknowledge that a communal dimension to this right exists” (148).’

The review ends as follows:

‘To sum up, the book Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom: To Be Fully Human is a well-written text on such important issues for contemporary societies as freedom of religion or belief in its communal form, freedom of conscience, and civic activity. It attempts to show an integral approach to the human being. This integral approach should strive to create such an ethos in which a full development of the human being is possible. By a full development is meant such a condition in which this being can manifest his or her beliefs not only within the privacy of his or her home but also in public without any fear of oppression or discrimination. If citizens are forced to hide their religious views, they are doomed to be inauthentic selves, and will always feel a kind of schizophrenia.’

You can read the whole review here:

http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/issue/view/43

‘Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. The journal promotes intellectual exploration of the relationship between economics and morality from both social science and theological perspectives.’

See also:

Review of book on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human’

Boekbespreking van Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human in Radix. Tijdschrift over geloof, wetenschap en samenleving

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

Chapter in forthcoming volume on Religion, Pluralism, and Reconciling Difference

The description of the volume, edited by W. Cole Durham Jr. and Donlu Thayer, reads as follows:

‘We live in an increasingly pluralized world. This sociological reality has become the irreversible destiny of humankind. Even once religiously homogeneous societies are becoming increasingly diverse. Religious freedom is modernity’s most profound if sometimes forgotten answer to the resulting social pressures, but the tide of pluralization threatens to overwhelm that freedom’s stabilizing force.

Religion, Pluralism, and Reconciling Difference is aimed at exploring differing ways of grappling with the resulting tensions, and then asking, will the tensions ultimately yield poisonous polarization that erodes all hope of meaningful community? Or can the tradition and the institutions protecting freedom of religion or belief be developed and applied in ways that (still) foster productive interactions, stability, and peace?

This volume brings together vital and thoughtful contributions treating aspects of these mounting worldwide tensions concerning the relationship between religious diversity and social harmony. The first section explores controversies surrounding religious pluralism from different starting points, including religious, political, and legal standpoints. The second section examines different geographical perspectives on pluralism. Experts from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East address these issues and suggest not only how social institutions can reduce tensions, but also how religious pluralism itself can bolster needed civil society.’

For the table of contents of the volume, see: https://www.routledge.com/Religion-Pluralism-and-Reconciling-Difference/Jr-Thayer/p/book/9781472464071.

My chapter is titled: ‘Western “Civic Totalism”, Sovereignty of the People, and the Need for Limited Government’.

For more information, and to order, see: https://www.routledge.com/Religion-Pluralism-and-Reconciling-Difference/Jr-Thayer/p/book/9781472464071.

See also:

Paper presentation during third bi-annual ICLARS conference in Virginia, United States

Blogpost ‘Religious Freedom, Eastern Ethical Monism, and Western “Civic Totalism”‘

International Conference on “The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics in Transition”

Chapter on ‘The Boundaries of Faith-Based Organizations in Europe’ in forthcoming Research Handbook on Law and Religion

The description of the edited volume reads as follows:

‘Offering an interdisciplinary, international and philosophical perspective, this comprehensive Handbook explores both perennial and recent legal issues that concern the modern state and its interaction with religious communities and individuals.

Providing in-depth, original analysis the book includes studies of a wide array of nation-states, such as India and Turkey, which each have their own complex issues centred on law, religion and the interactions between the two. Longstanding issues of religious liberty are explored such as the right of conscientious objection, religious confession privilege and the wearing of religious apparel. The contested meanings of the secular state and religious neutrality are revisited from different perspectives and the reality of the international human rights protections for religious freedom are analysed.

Timely and astute, this discerning Handbook will be a valuable resource for both academics and researchers interested in the many topics surrounding law and religion. Lawyers and practitioners will also appreciate the clarity with which the rights of religious liberty, and the challenges in making these compatible with state law, are presented.’

The Research Handbook, to be published with Edward Elgar in September 2018, is edited by Rex Ahdar, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, New Zealand.

My own chapter is entitled: ‘The Boundaries of Faith-Based Organizations in Europe.’

Other contributors to the volume include: R. Albert, B.L. Berger, J.E. Buckingham, P. Dane, J. Harrison, M.A. Helfand, M. Hill, A. Koppelman, I. Leigh, J. Neo, Y. Rosnai, R. Sandberg, S.D. Smith, K. Thompson and F. Venter.

See for the full table of contents, and order information:

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/research-handbook-on-law-and-religion.

See also:

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions

New volume on ‘Religion and Civil Society: The Changing Faces of Religion and Secularity’

NWO to finance research project ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s’

 

Review of book on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human’

UPDATE: see also this press release in Dutch:

https://geloofindemocratie.nl/2018/07/04/boekrecensie-constitutionalism-democracy-and-religious-freedom-to-be-fully-human-2017/

Very grateful to Robert Joustra for taking the time to write this review of my book for the Review of Faith & International Affairs – worth the read also because of the other literature he references along the way and the difficult questions it raises:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15570274.2018.1469823?journalCode=rfia20

‘The Review of Faith & International Affairs is published out of the Center on Faith & International Affairs (CFIA) at the Institute for Global Engagement.’

See also:

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

Interview on project on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom’

Law and Religious Freedom Book Panel at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, Friday, November 17 at 4 PM – 6 PM EST