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ERIC Number: ED525121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 242
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-7271-1
An Analysis and Rejection of Arguments for Religious Accommodation
Kline, Lisa Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This dissertation provides a comprehensive critical analysis of six main arguments for religious accommodation, with a specific focus on fundamentalist religious groups and the accommodation of their practices within liberal democratic societies. This analysis reveals that the types of practices that these arguments aim to accommodate primarily serve to perpetuate repressive and oppressive traditions--especially against women, and sometimes against men--that originated in less-enlightened eras, and which are often in stark violation of modern standards of individual human rights and freedoms. Furthermore, most arguments for religious accommodation are shown to be reducible to a demand for upholding traditional religious practices simply for the sake of tradition, and without adequately examining whether or not those practices are justifiable within the framework of contemporary human rights. Objections to each of the accommodationist arguments are provided, as well as numerous examples from Canada, the United States, and elsewhere, which demonstrate how certain fundamentalist religious practices infringe upon the rights of individuals. A brief discussion of the recent history of human rights shows how liberal societies have evolved (and continue to evolve) to embrace more egalitarian standards, in which the rights of individuals are based upon contemporary knowledge and understanding, and are protected (or are supposed to be protected) from infringement by those who refuse to adapt to modern standards. A discussion of six basic individual human rights that should take precedence over any type of religious accommodation is then presented to provide specific conditions under which religious freedom can and should be limited within liberal societies. It is argued that the intellectual rationale behind these six basic liberal rights is a more justifiable foundation for granting human rights to individuals than to appeal to fundamentalist religious traditions as a foundation for denying human rights to individuals (as is often the case). This dissertation concludes that arguments for religious accommodation should be rejected because of the oppressive nature of the practices that they wish to accommodate, and because there is no reasonable justification to accept them within the framework of contemporary, twenty-first century liberal democratic societies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States