RC 517: Religious Freedom, Religious Pluralism: Contemporary Challenges

Module Level

9/10 STL Reading Course


Two essays of 5,000 word

Module Aims

To introduce students to the challenges and opportunities that arise in religiously pluralistic societies.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • The Declaration on Religious Freedom of Vatican 11
  • The nature of ‘authentic’ democracy.
  • Religious freedom as a fundamental human right.
  • Religiously pluralistic societies.
  • The scope of religious freedom – worship, dress, schooling?

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this module students will:
  • • Be aware of the roots, history and content of the Catholic tradition’s stance on religious freedom.
  • • Be familiar with the contemporary challenges to religious freedom in Ireland and globally.
  • • Understand the centrality of the right to religious freedom for human dignity.
  • • Be aware of the criteria that can be employed in society to legitimately limit the right to religious freedom.


  • International Theological Commission, Religious Freedom for the Good of All: Theological Approaches and Contemporary Challenges, 2019.
  • Charles E Curran [ed], Readings In Moral Theology: Volumes 12 & 13.
  • Declaration on Religious Freedom.


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