Alfred Stepan speaks about the “twin tolerations” on ResetDOC

“What does democracy need and require from religious institutions and people? And, on the other side, what is the minimum religious people can legitimately expect from democracy?” asks Professor Alfred Stepan.  “For democracy to function,” he explains, “religious individuals and institutions have to respect and tolerate the results of democratic processes, as well as the right – indeed the sovereignty – of democratic institutions to write laws. And on the other hand – and this has often been undertheorized by secularists – we are talking about citizens, about individuals: what if these individuals are deeply religious? What rights should they expect from democracy?” The solution to these questions could be found in what Professor Stepan defines as “twin tolerations.”

Watch the full two-part video interview, conducted by Nina zu Fürstenberg, at

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