Cover: Liberalism’s Religion, from Harvard University PressCover: Liberalism’s Religion in HARDCOVER

Liberalism’s Religion

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Product Details


$36.00 • £28.95 • €32.50

ISBN 9780674976269

Publication Date: 09/25/2017

Academic Trade

344 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

6 tables


The standard story that liberalism has told about religion since the Enlightenment is that they are sibling rivals—frères ennemis—battling each other for control of the modern world… The standard account…is not wrong, Cécile Laborde argues in Liberalism’s Religion, her important and illuminating…book, but it needs substantial revision.—Michael Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books

It’s a major contribution to its field, likely to displace a lot of other texts from reading lists. It will command attention from political theorists, philosophers, and legal scholars for years to come.—Bernard G. Prusak, Commonweal

An elegant philosophical exercise of rigorous conceptual analysis, erudite discussion, and challenging normative engagement with the conceptualization of ‘religion’ as an object of concern for liberal political philosophers.Ethics

Splendid… Should receive attention from anyone interested in liberal democracy or in the place of religion within modern secularized societies. Laborde has thought deeply and subtly about the problems which she ponders, and her contemplation has paid off in the form of a truly fine book.Modern Law Review

Liberalism’s Religion is a paradigm-shifting book and an exemplary academic achievement… Given its unquestionable status as a landmark contribution to the field, it is not unreasonable to suggest that this book will become a fundamental reference point for the foreseeable future… By demystifying the concept of religion, Laborde gives liberalism an opportunity for self-reflection and renews the possibility of taking on the challenges facing contemporary plural societies with a sharper focus.—Eugenio Velasco Ibarra, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

A major theoretical accomplishment, one that ought to shape theoretical analysis of religion and politics by liberal egalitarian, democratic, and critical theorists long into the future.Political Theory

[An] outstanding contribution to debates about religion in political philosophy and [an] excellent window for moral and political theologians on the most advanced liberal thinking on the subject.Studies in Christian Ethics

Cécile Laborde [shows],…against secular fundamentalism, that the state can, without ceasing to be liberal and losing its legitimacy, use religious ideas to justify its actions far beyond what existing theories of liberal neutrality suggest. But, without any contradiction, she also shows that religious freedom extends beyond the boundary that some impenitent secularists would like to set for it.—Jean-Fabien Spitz, La Vie des Idées

A powerful, original, and nuanced book. The implications of Cécile Laborde’s views will have a wide impact for a long time to come.—Corey Brettschneider, Brown University

The question of the proper place of religion in liberal societies proves to be a perennial problem. In this masterpiece, Cécile Laborde, one of the most powerful political theorists of our time, addresses the many aspects of this question in a most thorough and original way. Her arguments for the disaggregation of religion and for ‘minimal secularism’ open up new perspectives of thought and practice.—Rainer Forst, Goethe-University Frankfurt

Liberalism’s Religion is a major contribution to a crowded field, offering a distinctive and powerful approach to the familiar problem of the relationship between religion and state. Professor Laborde also offers a shrewd critical map of the intellectual territory. The book is more than an application of liberal political philosophy to religion. It deepens our understanding of liberalism itself.—Andrew M. Koppelman, Northwestern University

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