Reflexive toleration in a deliberative democracy
in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

The public role of religious expression provides an interesting test case for reflexive toleration, especially since it is tolerated religions that typically challenge the nature and limits of religious toleration. Toleration in a deliberative democracy serves to support 'political egalitarianism', broadly understood as the 'equal access for all to influence political deliberation', especially in those decisions that become collectively and legally binding. As the product of the specific historical situation of religious pluralism, many now argue that liberal toleration is increasingly inadequate to deal with pluralism along more than one dimension at a time. The defining historical moment of the liberal regime of toleration is the emergence of religious pluralism and the distinctive zero-sum character of religious conflict within a particular political community.

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