Laborde on Equal liberty, Non-Establishment, and Religion

Cecile Laborde (University College London) has posted Equal Liberty, Non-Establishment, and Religion. The abstract follows.

Egalitarian theories of religious freedom deny that religion is entitled to special treatment in law, above and beyond that granted to comparable beliefs and practices. The most detailed and influential defense of such an approach is Christopher Eisgruber and Lawrence Sager’s Religious Freedom and the Constitution (2007). In this essay, I develop, elucidate, and show the limits of the reductionist strategy adopted by Eisgruber and Sager. The strategy requires that religion be analogised with other beliefs and practices, according to a robust metric of comparison. I argue that Eisgruber and Sager fail to develop a consistent and coherent metric, and I further suggest that this failure is symptomatic of the broader difficulty encountered by liberal theory in fitting the concept of religious freedom into a broadly egalitarian framework.

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