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A Kantian Approach to Current Tensions between Modern Law and Religious Commitments

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A Kantian perspective on the complex relationship between modern law and religion

Today, contradictions exist between religious commitment and modern law in Europe, such as the French face-veil ban or the Köln state-court’s decision against boy’s circumcision.

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The project LAW AND RELIGION (A Kantian approach to current tensions between modern law and religious commitments) researched the problematic relations between modern law and religious commitments, as they have arising in contemporary European societies and Turkey. This multidisciplinary collaboration united a postdoctoral researcher in political and legal theory from Kocaeli University in Turkey, a professor in Kantian practical philosophy, and a research adviser and scholar in political sociology. Amongst other topics, the researchers examined the French ban on face veils and the new Turkish law on education, which includes courses on the Koran and the life of the prophet Mohamed, in public schools. Researchers attended several events, designed to develop their knowledge and abilities in various subjects such as Kantian critical methodology, research and teaching methods of a British university. This enabled communication and dissemination of results through both expert articles and outreach activities. These events helped developed the researchers' skills for organising international conferences that contribute to the development of a research network. Researchers also undertook reviewing processes for the editing of special issues of journals and running a journal. Finally, some training activities were related to the grant application. Three texts were published on the normativity of legal standards and the advantages of a Kantian approach to law. Three texts are also in the process of being published on the development of an approach to concrete cases of conflicting norms and its application to such cases. Furthermore, nine presentations were made, in the context of the project, in Austria, Canada and the United Kingdom. Project researchers also made progress towards organising a conference to present the project results, with various academic practitioners invited to participate and comment on the work. The results will also contribute to a new project on ethical resolution of conflicts with the topic: 'Dealing ethically with conflicts between deep commitments: A dual critical-hermeneutic account'. The project has also enabled continuation cooperation between the Universities of Keele and Kocaeli. LAW AND RELIGION also intended to gradually produce visible social impact; however, more work on dissemination is needed. Project efforts also targeted establishing a Centre for Justice and Critical Ethics at Kocaeli. This will include an advisory board to examine concrete cases of conflict between law and moral commitments and issue policy advice and suitable approaches.


Modern law, religion, LAW AND RELIGION, Kantian approach, ethical resolution

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