Author Archives: Ian Hunter

About Ian Hunter

Professor emeritus at the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland. He is the author of Rival Enlightenments (Cambridge, 2001) and The Secularisation of the Confessional State (Cambridge, 2007), along with numerous other studies in the history of early modern political, philosophical, and religious thought.

English Blasphemy

Download PDF England’s blasphemy laws were abolished by an act of Parliament on May 8, 2008. This occurred with remarkably little fanfare, although not before a major parliamentary inquiry in 2002–3 and, prior to that, an attempt by a Muslim man (Mr. Choudhury) to launch a prosecution against Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in 1990, on the grounds that it blasphemed against the Islamic religion.1 Interpretations of these developments have been strikingly different. Some commentators have viewed them as symptoms of the last gasps of a law whose Continue reading →