This book examines major conceptual challenges confronting freedom of religion or belief in contemporary settings.

The volume brings together chapters by leading experts from law, religious studies, and international relations, who provide perspectives from both sides of the Atlantic. At a time when the polarization of ‘culture wars’ is aggravating tensions between secular and religious views about accommodating the conscientious claims of individuals and groups, and when the right to freedom of religion itself is facing misunderstanding and erosion, the work provides welcome clarity and depth. Some chapters adopt a primarily conceptual and historical approach; others analyze particular difficulties or conflicts that have emerged in European and American jurisdictions, along with concrete applications and recommendations for the future.

The book will be a valuable resource for students, academics, and policy-makers with an interest in law, religion, and human rights.

chapter |6 pages


Religion and freedom: conceptualizing a common right
ByDonlu Thayer

part I|54 pages


chapter 1|15 pages

What is religious freedom?

ByDavid Novak

chapter 2|13 pages

Freedom of religion

Fundamental right or impossibility?
ByDavid Little

chapter 3|17 pages

The politics of sovereignty

The early modern origins of freedom of religion
ByKurtis G. Anderson

chapter 4|7 pages

The secularity of law and the freedom from religion

ByZachary R. Calo

part II|80 pages


chapter 6|15 pages

Is Hobby Lobby dangerous for religious liberty?

ByAndrew Koppelman, Frederick Mark Gedicks

chapter 7|27 pages

Fernández Martínez v. Spain

An unclear intersection of rights?
ByJavier Martínez-Torrón

chapter 8|19 pages

Does the European Convention on Human Rights guarantee a right to freedom ‘from’ religion?

A theoretical and comparative analysis 1
ByGerhard van der Schyff

part III|86 pages


chapter 9|21 pages

Autonomy of religious communities versus the battle for human rights

Two sides of the same coin
ByMerilin Kiviorg

chapter 10|24 pages

‘Christian bigots’ and ‘Muslim terrorists’

Religious liberty in a polarized age
ByThomas C. Berg

chapter 11|12 pages

Managing religious diversity in Europe

Legal implications of religious affiliation and change of religion
ByMontserrat Gas Aixendri

chapter 12|27 pages

Secularism, neutrality, and freedom of religion and belief in France after Charlie Hebdo

The consolidation of a nouvelle neutralité?
ByMaría J. Valero Estarellas

part IV|68 pages


chapter 13|13 pages

Equal treatment of religions or differentiation between religions?

BySophie van Bijsterveld

chapter 15|38 pages

Religious autonomy at the crossroads

ByW. Cole Durham