Why Tolerate Religion?

Why Tolerate Religion?

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by Brian Leiter
     
 

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This provocative book addresses one of the most enduring puzzles in political philosophy and constitutional theory—why is religion singled out for preferential treatment in both law and public discourse? Why are religious obligations that conflict with the law accorded special toleration while other obligations of conscience are not? In Why Tolerate

Overview

This provocative book addresses one of the most enduring puzzles in political philosophy and constitutional theory—why is religion singled out for preferential treatment in both law and public discourse? Why are religious obligations that conflict with the law accorded special toleration while other obligations of conscience are not? In Why Tolerate Religion?, Brian Leiter shows why our reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience, and why a government committed to liberty of conscience is not required by the principle of toleration to grant exemptions to laws that promote the general welfare.

Editorial Reviews

GrrlScentist
The questions addressed in this book have been asked by many people throughout the decades, and are well-worth examining more rigorously. . . . This book's thesis is well-argued and promises to be thought-provoking for everyone who reads it.
— Devorah Bennu
New Statesman
A model of clarity and rigour and at points strikingly original, this is a book that anyone who thinks seriously about religion, ethics and politics will benefit from reading.
— John Gray
Jerusalem Post
A slim volume, deeply conversant with the literature in law and philosophy, and by turns bold, bracing and bruising, Why Tolerate Religion? should command the attention of anyone interested in the place of faith in the public arena.
— Glenn C. Altschuler
GrrlScentist - Devorah Bennu

The questions addressed in this book have been asked by many people throughout the decades, and are well-worth examining more rigorously. . . . This book's thesis is well-argued and promises to be thought-provoking for everyone who reads it.
New Statesman - John Gray
A model of clarity and rigour and at points strikingly original, this is a book that anyone who thinks seriously about religion, ethics and politics will benefit from reading.
Jerusalem Post - Glenn C. Altschuler
A slim volume, deeply conversant with the literature in law and philosophy, and by turns bold, bracing and bruising, Why Tolerate Religion? should command the attention of anyone interested in the place of faith in the public arena.
Barnes & Noble Review - Adam Kirsch
Why Tolerate Religion? is a closely argued and thought-provoking examination of questions that will only become more important in our increasingly multicultural world.
Magonia Review of Books - ohn Harney

The arguments in this book can not be adequately summarized in a reasonably short review, as they are rather complex, but is well worth studying, as it is an important subject, especially for those who have any responsibility for law-making.J
Morning Star - Alex Miller
Overall, Leiter's judicious and penetrating volume is an excellent example of how philosophy can be brought to bear on practical issues of the day.
Harvard Law Review
Why Tolerate Religion? is a readable book that exposes several tenuous assumptions underlying the predominant justifications for religious exemptions. At the same time, it provides a fresh and intuitive framework for analyzing conscience-based objections to facially neutral laws that should appeal to legal practitioners, jurists, and philosophers alike.
Choice
Students and scholars likely will be citing Leiter's clear and powerful arguments for many years.
Philosophers' Magazine - Scott F Aikin
[E]legant and accessible . . . straightforward and clear. Readers will find the book engaging and thought-provoking; yet Leiter's discussion is nonetheless philosophically sophisticated, incorporating nuanced considerations from legal theory, meta-ethics, and political philosophy. Most importantly, Leiter's book provides a sound basis for pursuing these crucial matters further.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"Thought-provoking. . . . Leiter brings an interdisciplinary perspective and insightful analysis to his perplexing subject."Los Angeles Review of Books

"A model of clarity and rigour and at points strikingly original, this is a book that anyone who thinks seriously about religion, ethics and politics will benefit from reading."—John Gray, New Statesman

"A slim volume, deeply conversant with the literature in law and philosophy, and by turns bold, bracing and bruising, Why Tolerate Religion? should command the attention of anyone interested in the place of faith in the public arena."—Glenn C. Altschuler, Jerusalem Post

"Although this is a rather bold and provocative thesis, Leiter's approach is highly nuanced and painstakingly thorough, as he patiently walks readers through each definition, consideration, and possible objection. The overall effect is a very impressively argued case."Library Journal

"Why Tolerate Religion? is a closely argued and thought-provoking examination of questions that will only become more important in our increasingly multicultural world."—Adam Kirsch, Barnes & Noble Review

"Overall, Leiter's judicious and penetrating volume is an excellent example of how philosophy can be brought to bear on practical issues of the day."—Alex Miller, Morning Star

"Why Tolerate Religion? is a readable book that exposes several tenuous assumptions underlying the predominant justifications for religious exemptions. At the same time, it provides a fresh and intuitive framework for analyzing conscience-based objections to facially neutral laws that should appeal to legal practitioners, jurists, and philosophers alike."Harvard Law Review

"Students and scholars likely will be citing Leiter's clear and powerful arguments for many years."Choice

"[E]legant and accessible . . . straightforward and clear. Readers will find the book engaging and thought-provoking; yet Leiter's discussion is nonetheless philosophically sophisticated, incorporating nuanced considerations from legal theory, meta-ethics, and political philosophy. Most importantly, Leiter's book provides a sound basis for pursuing these crucial matters further."—Scott F Aikin, Philosophers' Magazine

"Leiter's book is . . . very readable and it avoids technical jargon as much as possible. It works very well as a challenge to those who are sympathetic to conceding some exemptions from generally applicable laws because of religious beliefs, because the burden of justifying such exemptions is placed squarely on those who propose them."—Desmond M. Clarke, Jurisprudence

"[C]ompelling read . . . makes for a fresh and lively contribution to this ongoing debate."Journal of Applied Philosophy

"Why Tolerate Religion? has a certain beauty in its brevity, austerity and aspiration to analytical rigor."—Russell Blackford, Free Inquiry

"It is highly recommended to all those interested in the relationship between religion and the state. It will certainly leave its readers with much to ponder."—Jakub Urbaniak, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

"Brian Leiter's new book aims to be accessible to scholars outside of philosophy as well as to 'educated laypeople'. In my view, he succeeds in this endeavor. His book is very readable, and avoids unnecessary technicalities. The question Leiter addresses in his book . . . is of interest not only to academic philosophers, but to everyone who is curious about questions concerning the societal function and role of religion, toleration, minority rights, and conscience."—Martin Sticker, Zeitschrift fuer philosophische Literatur

"[A]n enjoyable read, accessible to the generally educated public but alive to a number of sophisticated philosophical ideas and distinctions, its prose crisp and straightforward, its attitude no-nonsense, its conclusion provocative, and its arguments clear, concise, and analytically rigorous."—Samuel Rickles, Philosophical Review

"Leiter's book . . . is highly recommended to all those interested in the relationship between religion and the state. It will certainly leave its readers with much to ponder."—Jakub Urbaniak, SOPHIA

"Why Tolerate Religion is a very good book that should be of interest to a wide range of readers. Leiter addresses a clear and undeniably important question in a philosophically rigorous yet accessible way. The book will generate debate inside and outside academia, and I, for one, am looking forward to Leiter's future work on the issues he has helpfully and forcefully raised."—David Svolba, Science, Religion & Culture

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400852345
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/24/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
216
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Brian Leiter is the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Naturalizing Jurisprudence and Nietzsche on Morality and the coeditor of the annual Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law. He writes the Leiter Reports blog.

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Why Tolerate Religion? 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book makes a series of weak arguments that only an atheist would support - our founders were men of greater wisdom than this fool