PhD Course: Freedom of Religion or Belief – Legitimate and Illegitimate Limitations

PhD Course 3 ECTS/ Professional Training. While the course is primarily aimed at PhD candidates doing research on this area, it is also open to professionals (with different backgrounds) who have an interest or are working with issues concerning Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Photo: Colourbox

A "classical" human right

Freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) radiates the aura of a well-established “classical” human rights, deeply anchored in national constitutions and enshrined in regional and international conventions.

Historians have appreciated its ground-breaking role within the genesis of human rights, and activists like to underline its critical function as a gateway to other rights of freedom.

In spite of its “classical” reputation, however, FoRB continues to cause deep controversies and evoke mixed feelings, and it meets with a lot of resistance in theory and – more importantly – in political practice.

Provocative potential

Apparently, FoRB has an enormous provocative potential, which comes to the fore in different ways and directions.

On the one hand, FoRB challenges traditional religious hegemonies, authoritarian monopolies of interpretation and the utilization of religion for political gains. When opening up societies for more religious (and non-religious) diversity, religious pluralism and critical debates, FoRB usually operates in close vicinity to freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and other rights of freedom.
On the other hand, FoRB may also harbour provocations for liberal, secular societies, because it acknowledges religiosity (in the broadest sense) as part of the human condition and as a legitimate part of public life.

As consequence, not only religious traditionalists, but also some secular liberals raise objections, albeit from opposite motives, against a wide conceptualization and implementation of FoRB. This has resulted in the paradox that FoRB is the only "liberal" right, which currently does not receive unanimous applause among liberals.


Course registration and fee

Participants are expected to study beforehand the course material.
Link to the reading materials will be sent after registration.

Participants to the course will be charged a 3,000 NOK (Norwegian kroner) fee, lunches included. PhD candidates from Norwegian universities are entitled to a fee exemption, except for a small payment for lunches of 500 NOK. Registration deadline and the payment deadline is 6 March.

Registration form and Epay link

Or, if in need of an invoice due to accounting consideration, send name of the course, your name, position, an inpersonal organisation email, organisation number, addresse and name of the organisation to; and we will issue an invoice. 


Tags: Freedom of Religion or Belief, Human Rights
Published Dec. 4, 2018 9:47 AM - Last modified Mar. 1, 2019 11:31 AM