UCL Philosophy


Leontiev: Religious Reasons and Liberal Legitimacy

11 January 2024

Kim Leontiev: Religious Reasons and Liberal Legitimacy (2024), Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

This article addresses the exclusivism–inclusivism debate about religious reasons in law within a justificatory liberal framework. The question of whether religious reasons have justificatory capacity for attaining public justification has increasingly been seen as a matter of how public justification is understood between two rival models: the consensus model being aligned with exclusivism, the convergence model with inclusivism. More recently, however, that alignment has been challenged with attempts to show that consensus can reach an equivalent degree of inclusivism as convergence. Against this, I contend that the purported equivalence is misplaced. First, I identify a crucial ambiguity about public justification and two corresponding domains. Upon demonstrating these to be mutually independent and severable, I conclude that the moves to equalize the models are confined within the more narrow domain while, in the more fundamental domain, the choice of model continues to prove determinative as to the exclusivist or inclusivist valence of justificatory liberalism.