Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 34, No 1 (2015)

Laicity and the Inherited Boundaries between Religion and Politics in Québec: Reflections after Marcel Gauchet

Jérôme Melançon
Issued Date: 27 May 2015


An understanding of the debate on reasonable accommodations that has been taking place in Québec and the ensuing Charter of Values presented in 2013 requires an analysis of the historical and political boundaries separating political life from religious life. This paper argues that these boundaries have been structured by a history of laicization and by the mutually supporting roles of collective self-determination and laicity in Québécois identity. It presents a philosophical account of the work of Marcel Gauchet, Yvan Lamonde, and the report of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodations, and stresses the role of anticlericalism in the phases of the establishment of democracy in Québec, a society where the Catholic Church played a central social and institutional role.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v34i2.26922


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