Edited by: Andras Sajo
This book addresses the conflict between free speech and religion. Religious authorities have long tried to "discipline" free speech when it runs counter to religious teachings or dogmas. The reaction to the cartoons about the prophet Muhammad, published in the Danish Jyllands-Posten, demonstrated the resonance of the accusation of blasphemy inside Islam. The conflict is not, however, limited to Islam. The Catholic Church and various Protestant churches have strongly expressed their hostility toward various books, plays, and films that they consider "collective defamation." There is an increasing concern about the need to protect religious sensitivities against offensive speech, in particular where such speech affects vulnerable minorities and collective identities based on religious affiliation. The thought-provoking essays in this book are a welcome contribution to the current debate on how to deal with the clash between free speech and religion in a world where a growing number of people are committed in a fundamental way to religion in everyday life.
Publication Date: 8/10/2007