Historically, European secularism emerged as a means to manage the danger of conflict that religious diversity brings — at the time this was conflict between varieties of Christianity. As the range of religious and non-religious identities in Europe continues to expand, intensified secularisation of the public sphere is the likely, and desirable, result.Leer el artículo completo, aquí
To take the opposite tack, and invite religion more fully into legal and political life, would be risky. As the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas argues, failing to restrict religious influence over politics risks a degeneration into religious contests for political power. The intellectual historian Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University, argues that separation of religion and politics is a product of a chance combination of historically specific factors, and anything but inevitable: it cannot be taken for granted. It has encouraged the development of an ideal of shared citizenship in religiously diverse populations and has been crucial to the advance of liberal principles such as gender equality and gay rights.
The clarification of limits on the role of religion in law and politics, if fairly applied, could help to alleviate the sense of double standards and unfairness that many migrants and their naturalised descendants feel. European secularism will be harder to portray merely as disguised Christian privilege, or free speech as an excuse to undermine Islam, once it is clear that established Christian faiths are not exempt from these norms.
Either way, what we see is a general process under which greater religious diversity is making it difficult for religion in Europe to retain the residual political and symbolic roles that it has had until now. / Ronan McCrea is a barrister and a lecturer at the Faculty of Laws at University College London. His latest book is Religion and the Public Order of the European Union (2010)