Religious liberty as a paradigm for the development of human rights

Alexandra Merrett

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This paper examines the development of religious liberty as a paradigm of human rights. It will be argued that the development of the concept "freedom of religion" is in fact fundamental to modern notions of human rights. Examining the emergence of religious tolerance and then liberty through the era of the religious wars and subsequently the Enlightenment, it will be further argued that religious tolerance evolved due to political expediency as opposed to rational discourse. Liberal philosophy then established the rhetoric of religious liberty within popular consciousness, but itself lacked coherency. As such, modern notions of religious liberty, particularly as elucidated in International Law, lack a coherent philosophical foundation.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherBond University
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch paper series : Centre for East-West Cultural & Economic Studies


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