From the “defamation of religions” dispute at the United Nations, to Muslim-Christian competition in Africa, to proposed accommodation of sharia law by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, to ongoing debates in France over the veil as a threat to nationality and citizenship—many current disputes over religion and rights involve claims for recognition of identity at a time when both religion and identity are increasingly matters of choice.
What is at stake in these disputes over identity? How far should modern, secular democracies go in accommodating claims based on religious rights or religious identity? Do these particular claims threaten universal understandings of human rights? And how can understanding the nature and source of these claims prevent religious and other conflicts? These are key issues for human rights and religious pluralism.
The project is comprised of four case studies, including the “defamation of religions” controversy at the United Nations, Muslim-Christian contestation over the implementation of shari’a in Nigeria, the French veil debate, and the “British values” debate. The project is also focusing on religious choice as an aspect of modernity, along with ongoing debates over proselytism and conversion as religious human rights. The project is supported by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and will culminate in a book manuscript, titled Religion, Rights and Recognition of Identities: Universal Human Rights and Religious Pluralism.
Religion, Rights, and Recognition of Identities: Reconciling Universal Human Rights and Religious Pluralism (manuscript under review, see Table of Contents.)
“Religion, Recognition, and Conflict Prevention,” Presentation at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, April 21, 2011.