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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the role that the fundamental right to freedom of religion or belief plays in ending or averting religious warfare, and in providing necessary footings for crystallizing peace out of conflict. After stressing that there is a tendency to lay exaggerated blame for many conflicts on religion, the chapter explores the Lockean insight that under certain circumstances, religious pluralism can serve as a stabilizing factor in society if states protect the right to religious diversity instead of imposing homogeneity. International limitation clauses on the scope of religious liberty play an important filtering role in promoting the positive contributions religion makes to society, while constraining negative religious effects. The analysis argues that secularity, understood as a framework welcoming religious pluralism, rather than secularism, as an ideology advocating secularization as an end in itself, is most conducive to the peacebuilding potential of religious freedom.

Keywords: freedom of religion, religious freedom, religious violence, religious pluralism, religious diversity, limitation clauses, secularity, secularism, secularization, peacebuilding

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