Introduction: Religion and public life

Matteo Bonotti, Jonathan Seglow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Political debate about the place of religion and religious identities in liberal democracies is as vigorous as ever, as evidenced by Christians’ assertiveness against what they regard as secularising tendencies and the attempt to eliminate their established place in public life, as well as religious minorities seeking to combat their often marginalised position and the specific injustices to which they are subject (such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia). The papers in this collection aim to address these and similar issues, and to offer novel and fresh perspectives on some of the key themes and debates on religion and public life in contemporary political theory. In this introductory essay, we illustrate, first, the key elements of four contemporary debates on religion and public life which are explored in the articles that follow. These are the conflict between secularism and religious establishment, public reason and the use of religious arguments in public deliberation, the accommodation of religious beliefs, and the relationship between freedom of speech and religion. After surveying these debates we end with an overview of the essays in this special issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Freedom of speech
  • Public reason
  • Religious accommodation
  • Religious establishment
  • Secularism

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