These are complex times for the freedom of speech, and one of the most interesting of the new complications is the revival of blasphemy laws, once thought vanquished by secular thinkers and political actors. This new book, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre (CUP), edited by Jeroen Temperman and András Koltay, explores subjects at the intersection of free speech, hate speech, and blasphemy.
The tension between blasphemy laws and the freedom of expression in modern times is a key area of debate within legal academia and beyond. With contributions by leading scholars, this volume compares blasphemy laws within a number of Western liberal democracies and debates the legitimacy of these laws in the twenty-first century. Including comprehensive and up-to-date comparative country studies, this book considers the formulation of blasphemy bans, relevant jurisprudential interpretations, the effect on society, and the ensuing convictions and penalties where applicable. It provides a useful historical analysis by discussing the legal-political rationales behind the recent abolition of blasphemy laws in some Western states. Contributors also consider the challenges to the tenability of blasphemy laws in a selection of well-balanced theoretical chapters. This book is essential reading for scholars working within the fields of human rights law, philosophy and sociology of religion, and comparative politics.