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Alienation and Establishment

Department of Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
Religions 2020, 11(6), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060282
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 1 June 2020 / Accepted: 3 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/ Philosophies)
Is it ever permissible for the state to formally recognize one religion? This article focuses on just one aspect of this complex question. To be specific, a critical examination is conducted of what will be called the alienation argument against establishment, according to which this sort of connection between religion and the state is wrong to the extent that it makes some people feel alienated. Whilst this argument is often dismissed in contemporary academic analyses, considerations of this kind are frequently heard in political commentary and public debate. In this article, the three most important criticisms made of the alienation argument, which are referred to as psychologism, indeterminacy and falsity, are discussed. By arguing that it may be possible to rebut these three objections, at least to some extent, the aim of the article is to mount a partial defence of the alienation argument against religious establishment. Its conclusion is that feelings of alienation should play a significant role in making all-things-considered judgements about the justifiability of particular instances of establishment. View Full-Text
Keywords: alienation; religion; the state; establishment; citizenship alienation; religion; the state; establishment; citizenship
MDPI and ACS Style

Thompson, S. Alienation and Establishment. Religions 2020, 11, 282.

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