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9781441183927

The Future of Blasphemy Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781441183927

  • ISBN10:

    1441183922

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-29
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Summary

Today, a new notion of blasphemy has arrived on the international political scene in the form of United Nations resolutions condemning the "defamation of religions" and national laws restricting religiously offensive speech. In the days of Moses, God defended His own honour. In the biblical worldview, blasphemy was the direct verbal abuse of the divine person, punishable by death. For the medievals, it was taken as a threat to civil order. Unlike the biblical and medieval discourse, however, this new debate turns on the feelings of the believers themselves. Meanwhile, artists and public figures face trial for "inciting religious hatred." What is the proper balance between freedom and equal respect for persons? When, if ever, is religious offense not only legally permissible but morally appropriate in a pluralistic democracy?

Table of Contents

1. Combating the Defamation of Religions \ 2. Sacrilege \ 3. Respect \ 4. Rights \ 5. Idols \  6. Postcript: On Moral Luck and Cattle Riots \ Bibliography \ Index

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