Barbra Barnett

With a law degree and a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics I am ever fascinated by the richness and complexity of religious diversity and the role of religion in public life.  I write about religious freedom in constitutional law, political theory, and social history.

To paraphrase Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s dictum that democracy depends upon a free marketplace of ideas, the titular “bazaar of beliefs” describes the political importance of religious freedom.  If democracy depends upon a vibrant and fertile array of ideas, then  religious freedom ought to be guaranteed as a fundamental component of the set of intellectual liberties that the Bill of Rights guarantees.  Like freedom of speech and press, religious freedom is essential to the task of democratic self-governance.