Blasphemy as a thick concept Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2020

start page

  • 37

end page

  • 62


  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2340-9592


  • Thick concepts have been central in metaethical debates over the last few decades, for instance in the controversy between cognitivism and non-cognitisivism or in the fact/value distinction. They are characterised as world guided, action guiding and community shared. In this paper, thick concepts are used to analyse case law on blasphemy from the European Court of Human Rights. When conducting this analysis, the test of civility proposed by Habermas and Rawls will also be applied. Public reason obligates the use of reasons accessible to all, that is to say not with a particular/thick meaning, in the public sphere.


  • Law


  • blasphemy; religious insult; hatred for religious reasons; test of civility; thick concepts