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Back to Panel Details
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The Regulation of Religion in Public Spaces

Citizenship
Democracy
Islam
Political Theory
Religion
Social Justice
Identity
P428
Simon Thompson
University of the West of England
Roland Pierik
University of Amsterdam
Nahshon Perez
Bar Ilan University

Saturday 11:00 - 12:40 (10/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Arts Floor: 4 Room: FA429

Abstract

All contemporary states regulate religion, justifying their actions by reference to domestic laws and customs as well as international covenants and declarations. Religious belief and practice are generally protected, most often by reference to the right to religion. At the same time, however, some limits are usually placed on how and where religious beliefs may be manifested. In this panel, we propose to focus attention on the question of where religious practice is permitted and where it is proscribed. In particular, we are interested in the controls which states place on citizens' ability to manifest their religious beliefs in the public spaces of their societies, and indeed on their ability to shape those spaces in the images of their religions. There are a number of particular cases likely to be scrutinized by participants on this panel. The Swiss minaret ban of 2009, by declaring that 'the building of minarets is forbidden', imposed a very strict control on the character of Swiss public space. The regulation of religious worship at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, in particular concerning the separation of sexes, is a good example of how a state may deal with 'sacred spaces'. In Italy, the Lautsi case focused attention on the legitimacy of displaying religious symbols on the walls of Italian state-funded schools. By drawing on these and other cases, this panel will offer general theoretical reflections on how religion should be regulated in public space.

Title Details
Religious symbols in public functions: do they really endanger or disturb state neutrality? View Paper Details
Two Models of Even-Handedness and the Regulation of Religion in Public Spaces View Paper Details
Public spaces, religious symbolism and the neutral state View Paper Details
The right to religion and the control of public space View Paper Details