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Religion beyond equality

Nogoy, Patrick Vance Senga; (2020) Religion beyond equality. Masters thesis (M.Phil.Stud), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Cécile Laborde proposes a liberal egalitarian view for a liberal state to adopt in its fair treatment of religious citizens. She suggests a method where state neutrality is applied restrictively and religion is “disaggregated” across standard liberal rights. Without recourse to a legal-political category religion, she responds to the problem of religious accommodation by using main elements of a particular liberal right(s) to account for the dimension of religion that an issue of justice makes salient. In reply to the problem of state neutrality, she proposes that a liberal state can be non-neutral in its treatment of religious claims as long as religion is not a marker for social division, does not impose its comprehensive ethics, and provides publicly accessible reasons. I argue that adopting Laborde’s approach has conceptual and pragmatic advantages as a political strategy (modus vivendi) in resolving justice claims. However, its content-neutral and procedural framework partially meets the requirements of justice of religious citizens because of its egalitarian motivation. In adopting a minimal political conception of religion defined by elements of other liberal rights, the liberal state employs a narrow understanding of religion as a “collection” of beliefs and practices. This can result in religious citizens exercising partial or even distorted expressions of their religious identities. I suggest a conceptual refinement in Laborde’s theory if it aims at attracting endorsement from religious citizens as a reasonable conception of justice. I will survey some alternative frameworks and ideas (e.g. Raz value-based approach, Riordan’s capacity for truth argument) and build on their strengths. I propose vocation as a useful concept for a liberal state to employ in appropriately understanding and assessing religious commitment. My modest proposal presents a liberal understanding of religion-state relationship other than those framed in the themes of neutrality, toleration, exclusion, or limitation of practices.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil.Stud
Title: Religion beyond equality
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: religion, justice, equality, Laborde, disaggregation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10093809
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