20 april 20 - 15 june 2020

Religious Exemptions in Liberal or Democratic States

Religious Exemptions in Liberal or Democratic States


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.