E-seminar- Religious Exemptions in Liberal or Democratic States

E-seminar- Religious Exemptions in Liberal or Democratic States

SEM 43 - Philosophy and religious Studies

April 20th - June 15th, 2020

presented by Isaac Mutelo

Course code: SEM 43

Professor: Isaac Mutelo


One of the main attractions of liberalism is its apparent ability to allow different groups and worldviews – both religious and non-religious – to coexist. In this context, one of the major questions become whether religious groups should be granted preferential treatment in terms of exemptions or allowances in liberal or democratic states. Should religion be granted preferential treatment in a liberal or democratic state? If yes, why single out religion for special or preferential treatment? What makes religion so special such that it should merit special or preferential treatment in any democratic or liberal society? If religion should not be granted preferential treatment at all, then how far should religious groups go in influencing society generally? Such questions indicate why the issue of religious exemption or preferential treatment in liberal or democratic states an important topic is today. The core aim of this seminar is to critically examine the question of religious exemptions in liberal and democratic states based on actual case studies and current research on the theme. 

Pedagogical procedure : 

  • The seminar takes place on Moodle, Domuni's distance learning platform ( Each student logs in independently and works at his/her own pace, according to the established schedule. 

  • Each of the four steps lasts two weeks. 

  • During the first week of the step, each student is asked to write a structured contribution to the seminar, using the texts and the problematic displayed by the professor. The paper has to comply with the following requirements:

- Approximately 4,000 characters, including spaces.

- Written in a word-processing software (Word, Open Office, ...)

- The paper must be posted on Moodle 

  • The second week of the step is dedicated to debates and discussions, supervised by the professor.

  • The final mark takes into account the quality of the four contributions and the active participation in the debates.