Religion and Human Rights: Ambiguities and Ambivalences of Freedom

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Pamela Slotte
Editors: Hedvig Bernitz, Victoria Enkvist
Publication year: 2020
Publisher: Hart publishing
Book title: Freedom of Religion: An Ambiguous Right in the Contemporary European Legal Order
Title of series: Swedish Studies in European Law
Number in series: 14
Start page: 3
End page: 16
ISBN: 9781509935864
eISBN: 9781509935888


This chapter provides an overview of and discusses certain tendencies in contemporary discussions of religious freedom. In order to situate the topic in a broader theoretical framework, and to clarify the position adopted in the chapter, the chapter begins with some reflections about freedom as a philosophical concept. Thereafter, most of the chapter focuses on freedom in relation to religion and ambiguity and ambivalence in relation hereto, and on ‘freedom as stipulated in law’ as well as on how this law – mainly international human rights law – simultaneously constrains and enables religious life. Thus, the chapter focuses on the subjects of ‘codified freedom’ and freedom of religion rather than, for example, on freedom in a religious sense: that is, freedom as an existential category. The chapter discusses how international law grapples with the ambivalence and ambiguities of religious freedom today and tentatively explores why this is the case precisely now, and why this situation has arisen. It also comments upon the various scholarly responses to the situation that has arisen. In sum, the chapter contributes to providing an overview of the setting or framework within which issues of freedom to and from religion is currently discussed.


human rights, International human rights law, religious freedom

Last updated on 2020-01-04 at 04:27