Securing a Secular Future in an Era of Secularist Self-Doubt

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Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2019-20

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Inaugural Lecture

Speaker: Professor Ronan McCrea (Faculty of Laws, UCL)

Chair: Professor Conor Gearty (LSE)


Securing a Secular Future in an Era of Secularist Self-Doubt: Why States Increasingly Use the Law to Limit Religion in Europe

In some ways, law and politics in Western Europe are more secular than ever. Religious belief, practise and influence over law are at all time lows. Yet, at the same time, the relationship between religion, law and state in Western Europe has become the focus of intense debate and flood of legislation. This talk looks at the reasons lying behind the increase in legislative regulation of religion’s role in society. It discusses the drawbacks of using inevitably rigid legal tools in this area and discusses whether, in an increasingly religiously diverse Europe there are any viable alternatives to the increasing use of law to regulate this sensitive relationship.

About the Speaker

Ronan McCrea is professor of constitutional and European law at UCL. He is a former référendaire (judicial clerk) at the Court of Justice of the European Union and member of the Bar of Ireland and the Bar of England and Wales. He has held visiting positions at the Central European University in Budapest, the European University Institute and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is also a regular columnist in The Irish Times newspaper.

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