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.
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.
Preface to the Paperback Edition ix Preface and Acknowledgments xvii Introduction 1 Chapter I Toleration 5 Chapter II Religion 26 Chapter III Why Tolerate Religion? 54 Chapter IV Why Respect Religion? 68 Chapter V The Law of Religious Liberty in a Tolerant Society 92 Notes 135 Selected Bibliography 175 Index 181