A distinct feature of liberalism as a political philosophy is the primacy of individuals’ civil and political rights. The liberal principle of legitimacy is based on the notion that individual citizens are capable of judging what gives value to their own lives. Liberal thinkers have elected to consider religion as a matter of individual choice and sought the accommodation of diverse religious views within a stable scheme of public order. To this aim, in the classical tradition, liberalism focused on the idea of limited government, the rule of law, the avoidance of arbitrary power, and the sanctity of private property. Modern liberalism generally upholds the ideals of classical liberalism and promotes individual liberty, but also stresses the need to remove political as well as social and economic obstacles to liberty. Liberalism is committed to the idea that people in a political society must be equally free. Equality is manifested in the fact that human beings all possess reason and the moral capacity to judge their own conduct. From the notion of reasonable human beings, coupled with the idea of liberty and equality, it follows that the state must stay out of individuals’ construction of their own lifestyle choices, or broadly, their conceptions of the good life. Liberal theorists’ approach to religion has been guided by these basic tenets of liberalism, but different understandings of liberal principles have produced different normative outlooks. A significant division has emerged, especially in relation to the scope in which liberal principles ought to be implemented. This chapter begins with the illustration of this division in liberalism. First, it portrays the principal ideas of what is to be called “comprehensive liberalism.” It argues that this line of liberal thought presents inherent problems regarding the place of religion in social and public life because of its comprehensive outlook, and suggests that it may be rejected by the religious citizenry. On the other hand, the idea of political liberalism embraces a liberalism

of narrow scope and might appeal to the religious citizenry more than its comprehensive variant. The rest of the chapter is devoted to the discussion of the theoretical and normative structure of political liberalism and its major components, the political moral conception of justice, overlapping consensus, public reason, and reasonable pluralism.