Secularity, Secularism and Human Rights

Along with increased globalisation and the growth of more culturally and religiously homogeneous societies questions pertaining to human rights and protection for majority and minority groups has been actualised to a greater extent. Questions concerning national identity, citizenship, integration and individuals’ position in our society have therefore become increasingly important.

An understanding of how human rights should be interpreted and applied is essential for all research concerning society. Who are included in rights, what rights mean for individuals and different groups as well as how rights can be limited are some of the questions at the centre of research conducted within the framework of the theme secularity, secularism and human rights.

In a time where religion is often highlighted as the opposite of democratic values it is important to carry out research which highlights the relationship between democracy, democratic values and to what extent the picture painted of Sweden from different perspectives is supported by empirical evidence. One example of when there is a discrepancy between the former and the later is that Sweden is often described as one of the most secular countries in the world. This can be problematised in various ways, not least in terms of the fact that around 2/3 of the population belong to a faith community or congregation and that the state funds faith communities.

Research on secularism and secularity, atheism and neutrality are in addition important factors to consider when religion, religious freedom and the role of religion in society are discussed. In the research that is conducted within the framework of this theme these concepts are problematised, as the relation of the state to these questions influences how society relates to individuals as majority and minority groups. These questions form the core of both ongoing research and research which is under development.

Last modified: 2021-11-18