Abstract and Keywords
Contemporary democratic states tend to be highly secular, even as, in some of them, religious fundamentalism is growing. This article takes a secular state to be roughly one whose legal and institutional frameworks exhibit separation between the state and the church—meaning religious institutions. Religious citizens commonly see secular states as unfriendly toward religion. This article addresses the question of how secular governments can provide for the liberty of all in a way that observes a reasonable separation of church and state and minimizes the alienation of religious citizens. Achieving the optimal balance between an appropriate secularity in the state—which in practice implies governmental neutrality toward religion—requires both institutional principles, such as those appropriate to a constitution, and principles of civic virtue that apply to individual conduct.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.