Comparative Constitutional Law, Democracy, Law and Religion, Religion and Politics, Whither Europe?

Winner of the International Award for Excellence for The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 8

‘Champaign, Ill., USA – 16 November 2018 – The Religion in Society Research Network is pleased to announce the selection of “The Significance of Communal Religious Freedom for Liberal Democracy,” Hans-Martien ten Napel, as the winner of the International Award for Excellence for Volume 8 of The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society. This article was selected for the award from among the highest-ranked articles emerging from the peer-review process and according to the selection criteria outlined in the peer-review guidelines.

About The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society aims to create an intellectual frame of reference for the academic study of religion and spirituality and to create an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of religion and spirituality in society. The journal addresses the need for critical discussion on religious issues—specifically as they are situated in the present-day contexts of ethics, warfare, politics, anthropology, sociology, education, leadership, artistic engagement, and the dissonance or resonance between religious tradition and modern trends.’

About the awarded article:

The main argument of my recent book Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017) is that the so-called ‘New Critics of Religious Freedom’ in fact, consciously or unconsciously, criticize liberal democracy as such. Now, it has become quite common for liberal democracy to be criticized not just outside the West, but also from within the West. My book constitutes an exception to this rule in that it is written in defense of liberal democracy and, consequently, also in defense of the so-called liberal conception of the right to religious freedom. The awarded article reflects the same argument that the book aims to make. Earlier versions of the article were presented during the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Erfurt, Germany, 23-29 August 2015; the Cardiff Festival for Law and Religion, Cardiff, Wales, 5-6 May 2017; and the Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law, Copenhagen, Denmark, 5-7 July 2017. In its emphasis on the role of anthropology, among other things, the article also reflects the Acton University Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that I attended from 20-23 June 2017. If I remember correctly, I wrote its final draft during the flight home from that occasion. I am grateful to the two anonymous referees from whose comments on that draft the article benefited greatly. Hopefully, the publication of this article and the current award will help to open the eyes of scholars outside my discipline to what I consider to be the beauty of liberal democracy in general and the right to religious freedom in particular as it was initially conceived during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Read the awarded article here:

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