Edition 2016

Jos de Beus Lecture 2016 by Cécile Laborde: What is freedom of religion?

Date & time: Wednesday 30 November 2016, 16.00-18.00 hrs.
Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229, Amsterdam
Reservations are not required.

What, if anything, is special about religion? Should the law protect everything that is conventionally called religious? In this lecture, I defend an interpretive – not merely a semantic – notion of religion. I argue that the concept of religion should be disaggregated into its component goods and values, and its protection dispersed across a number of standard liberal rights. In the case of special exemption rights, I argue that the relevant moral value is that of ethical integrity. I then explain the implications of the integrity approach for both individual and collective claims of exemption from general laws.

Cécile Laborde is Professor of Political Theory at University College London. She has published extensively in the areas of republicanism and multiculturalism, theories of law and the state, and global justice. Recent books include Critical Republicanism: The Hijab Controversy and Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Republicanism and Political Theory (co-edited with John Maynor, Oxford Blackwell 2007). She holds a degree in Political Science from Sciences Po Bordeaux and a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in July 2013.