This article examines the legal treatment of religious dissent from a comparative perspective, by focusing on the legal evolution from intolerance to toleration, and from toleration to emancipation in France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom. Historically, in Europe, only people professing the official religion were regarded as full members of the political community. Those who professed another religion were expelled, persecuted, discriminated or – in the best cases – merely tolerated. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in different degrees and forms according to the country concerned, European states started separating citizenship from religious belonging – a fundamental step in the process of secularisation of law in Europe. This development led to the emancipation of religious dissenters through the recognition of both the principle of equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of one’s religion or belief, and the individual right to freedom of religion and belief.

The Legal Treatment of Religious Dissent in Western Europe: A Comparative View / R. Bottoni, C. Cianitto. - In: ECCLESIASTICAL LAW JOURNAL. - ISSN 0956-618X. - 24:1(2022), pp. 25-37. [10.1017/S0956618X21000636]

The Legal Treatment of Religious Dissent in Western Europe: A Comparative View

C. Cianitto
2022

Abstract

This article examines the legal treatment of religious dissent from a comparative perspective, by focusing on the legal evolution from intolerance to toleration, and from toleration to emancipation in France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom. Historically, in Europe, only people professing the official religion were regarded as full members of the political community. Those who professed another religion were expelled, persecuted, discriminated or – in the best cases – merely tolerated. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in different degrees and forms according to the country concerned, European states started separating citizenship from religious belonging – a fundamental step in the process of secularisation of law in Europe. This development led to the emancipation of religious dissenters through the recognition of both the principle of equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of one’s religion or belief, and the individual right to freedom of religion and belief.
religious dissent; tolerance; right to religion and belief; comparative law; Europe
Settore IUS/11 - Diritto Canonico e Diritto Ecclesiastico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/895991
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