Why Liberal State Funding of Denominational Schools Cannot be Unconditional: a reply to Neil Burtonwood


Correspondence: Dr. G.L.M. Snik and Dr. J.M. de Jong, Radboud University Nijmegen, P O Box 9104, NL 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Emails: G.Snik@pwo.ru.nl; J.deJong@ped.kun.nl


In this article we take up Burtonwood's criticism of our view that liberal states should, under certain conditions, fund denominational schools. We not only reject his plea for the accommodation of strong faith schools by liberalism but also criticise his portrayal of the character of the conflict between liberals and strong faith school advocates. Arguing that liberalism is not part of the diversity of goods, we maintain that liberals and strong faith school advocates should not be seen as competing on the same playing field. Rather, liberalism transcends the battleground both by enabling and conditioning the competition between adherents of rival conceptions of the good.