Brian Leiter's Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton UP) is due to come out in November 2012. Here's the blurb:
This provocative book addresses one of the most enduring puzzles in
political philosophy and constitutional theory--why is religion singled
out for preferential treatment in both law and public discourse? Why,
for example, can a religious soup kitchen get an exemption from zoning
laws in order to expand its facilities to better serve the needy, while a
secular soup kitchen with the same goal cannot? Why is a Sikh boy
permitted to wear his ceremonial dagger to school while any other boy
could be expelled for packing a knife? Why are religious obligations
that conflict with the law accorded special toleration while other
obligations of conscience are not?
In Why Tolerate Religion?,
Brian Leiter argues that the reasons have nothing to do with religion,
and that Western democracies are wrong to single out religious liberty
for special legal protections. He offers new insights into what makes a
claim of conscience distinctively "religious," and draws on a wealth of
examples from America, Europe, and elsewhere to highlight the important
issues at stake. With philosophical acuity, legal insight, and wry
humor, Leiter shows why our reasons for tolerating religion are not
specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience, and why a
government committed to liberty of conscience is not required by the
principle of toleration to grant exemptions to laws that promote the
Review of Draper and Schellenberg (eds.), <I>Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays</I>
Adam Green reviews the book for NDPR.
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