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Religious Freedom in the Liberal State$
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Rex Ahdar and Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606474.001.0001

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(p.338) 10Employment
Religious Freedom in the Liberal State

Rex Ahdar

Ian Leigh

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the status of ministers of religion, the position of a religious person in a secular workplace, and the question of religious freedom and religious employers. Underlying these questions is a fundamental difference between secular and religious understandings of the nature of work. It argues that a liberal, pluralist, society can only flourish by permitting diverse groups within civil society, and that includes organizations that are religiously exclusive. Opponents in the debates about the application of equality norms to religious ethos employers have been, to a very large degree, talking past each other because of their fundamentally incompatible starting points about the nature of employment. For the religious person in secular employment, religious liberty has, in general, been poorly protected until recently.

Keywords:   ministers of religion, religious discrimination, religious dress, religious symbols, religious freedom, religious liberty, secular employment, work environment

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