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Recording of the symposium on ‘La religion au tribunal’ (Albin Michel, 2023), by Astrid Von Busekist

The recording of the symposium held on November 9th, 2023 on the book La religion au tribunal (Albin Michel, 2023) by Astrid von Busekist (Paris, Science Po), In the presence of the author, who was then on a research stay as a visiting fellow at the CRÉ. Commentators: Victor Muniz-Fraticelli (McGill), Christian Nadeau (UdeM) and Daniel Weinstock (McGill). Chair: Ryoa Chung (UdeM).

Book abstract

“Home schooling, circumcision, religious divorce.” Contrary to the common belief that politics and religion cannot work together without upsetting the principle of separation, this book demonstrates that the interactions between state law and religious commandments are more complex. The State, attentive to unique situations, can show flexibility and accommodate the belief obligations of individuals. Mindful of the integrity of believers, it can even sometimes cooperate with representatives of religious communities. This book examines three cases where the confrontation between the civil and the religious is resolved by an original arbitration between the virtues of the public and individual freedoms. Should we not harm individual religious freedom or the making of the democratic citizen? Bodily integrity or the civic inclusion of minority communities? Religious freedom or democratic equality between women and men? An often challenging blend of democracy and liberalism, deliberatism, a doctrine of just measure, takes the risk of presenting a more flexible, pragmatic picture than what the idea of separation between the common good and the unique aspirations of believers suggests.

About the author

Astrid von Busekist is a professor of political theory at Sciences Po and the director of the journal Raisons Politiques. She has notably published, with Albin Michel, ‘Portes et murs. Des frontières en démocratie’ (2016) and ‘Penser la justice. Entretiens avec Michael Walzer’ (2020).