About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Update on Freedom of Religion and the Secular State

My next book, Freedom of Religion and the Secular State, will be published by Wiley-Blackwell late this year or early next year (either way, its "official" year of publication will be 2012 for marketing reasons).

At the moment, I'm working with the copyeditor, so the book is coming along. Page proofs are still some way down the track. We have, however, already chosen a cover design; it's one that I think will look brilliant on the shelves. I'm expecting the book to generate a fair bit of controversy - it takes a very distinctive, but I think principled and defensible, line. I don't claim that my views are entirely original, unprecedented, or what have you, but I draw something of a line in the sand. Whether anyone else is prepared to draw it in exactly the same place remains to be seen.

What else do I need to say? Buy the frakking book when it's available! :)

More news coming your way as the year rolls on.


Marshall said...

I'm looking forwards to it.

Steven Paul Leiva said...

Looking foreward to it, Russell!

Ramases said...

Thanks Russell,

I look forward to it.

It is interesting that the issues of secularism and religious freedom are matters of some debate within the atheist movement itself (if it could be called that).

To me the basis of secularism is religious freedom for all, including those we disagree with. I have therefore been somewhat surprised that so many who regard themselves as secular atheists actually seek to restrict the religious freedom of others. The example that most comes to mind is the "No mosques at ground zero" campaign.

Of course those who take such a position (Pat Condell and others) cannot really regard themselves as secularists. Secularism means that a government will not intervene is matters of religion, and to be meaningful it must apply to all.

I find it surprising that this seemingly simple fact is apparently not well understood by so many.