Described by former European Court of Human Rights Judge Giovanni Bonello as ‘excellently researched and probably the best overview on the subject’, Koltay's book discusses the legal debates surrounding the use of religious symbols in schools, public places and media advertising, the freedom of the state in integrating religious studies in public education, the limitations on wearing religious clothing and symbols and the restriction of blasphemy laws.
'Easing tensions between freedom of religion and freedom of speech is amongst the most pressing contemporary issues for European political cultures. This comprehensive assessment of the conceptual and doctrinal bases for such important rights provides the kind of clear and insightful thinking that is required to analyse the complex arguments deployed about them in political discourse and judicial decision-making. It is an impressive contribution to the literature and is highly recommended.'
- Thomas Gibbons, Professor of Law, University of Manchester
'Few topics – religion in public life – can be as timely as the subject matter of this book. Few topics can be as much in need of a clear, lucid, comparative and analytical treatment. All these are provided in this book. It deserves to be read widely by academics and scholars and to find a place on many student reading lists.'
- David Goldberg, Professor of Law, Queen Mary University, London
'In a world shaken by the Charlie Hebdo killings and the rise of nativist reactions to them, this is a timely, important book. András Koltay offers a deep, contextually-sensitive defence of the role of religion – both Christianity and Islam – in the European public square of the twenty-first century. At the same time, he does a great job offering an even-handed approach to blasphemy regulation, one that respects the harm blasphemy bans can pose to freedom of speech, without dismissing the harms caused by blasphemy itself. Koltay’s arguments have the potential to reshape the global debate over this contentious issue.'
- Robert A Kahn, Professor of Law, University of St Thomas, Minneapolis
'This innovative and authoritative book drawing on selected studies in the field of free speech and religion is set to become an invaluable resource for scholars and students of comparative human rights law.'
- Peter Leyland, Professor of Public Law, SOAS, University of London
'The book is a remarkably well-elaborated and up-to-date analysis of the challenges our contemporary societies are confronted with in the area of freedom of expression and freedom of religion represented or manifested in the public sphere, taking also into account the broader framework of immigration, social integration, and the future development of Europe’s values on protecting the fundamental rights of its citizens, characterised by state neutrality, tolerance, pluralism, and non-discrimination.'
- Dirk Voorhoof, Emeritus Professor, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University
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