Prof. Jeroen Temperman publishes book volume on blasphemy laws

Prof. Jeroen Temperman’s latest volume, entitled Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, has been published by Cambridge University Press. It was co-edited by Dr Andras Koltay.

The book, comprising some 30 contributions from human rights and comparative law experts, as well as historians and philosophers, investigates the legal status and effects of blasphemy laws in Western liberal democracies. Challenging the myth that blasphemy laws in western jurisdictions are dormant, this book presents an assessment of positive law on blasphemy, relevant jurisprudential interpretations and convictions, and these laws’ chilling effect on religious discourse.

The book’s cover depicts The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder; one of two surviving versions is in possession of and on display in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. According to the Bible book Genesis, God deemed humans’ attempt to avoid a second deluge an act of blasphemy and punished mankind with the multiplication of languages.

Prof. Jeroen Temperman serves as the editor-in-chief of Religion & Human Rights: An International Journal.


Jeroen Temperman


Prof. Temperman obtained his PhD in 2009 at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, a research centre of the National University of Ireland (Galway); his dissertation was entitled State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance.

Prof. Temperman is the co-founder of the Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge (EIPK), an interdisciplinary research institute on public issues, for scientists from the social sciences and humanities.

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