Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context by Peter Cane, Carolyn Evans, Zoe Robinson

By Peter Cane, Carolyn Evans, Zoe Robinson

Is there a spot for non secular language within the public sq.? Which establishment of presidency is most fitted to figuring out even if faith should still impact legislation? should still States be required to regard faith and non-religion within the comparable method? How does the historic function of faith in a society impression the fashionable knowing of the function of faith in that society? This quantity of essays examines the character and scope of engagements among legislations and faith, addressing primary questions comparable to those. individuals variety from eminent students operating within the fields of legislation and faith to special new voices who upload important and unique rules. From conservative to liberal, doctrinal to post-modernist and secular to non secular, each one contributor brings a unique method of the questions lower than dialogue, leading to a full of life, passionate and considerate debate that provides mild instead of warmth to this complicated sector.

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But such a freedom would be very limited in scope. As soon as protection was extended beyond mere belief to cover some form of action based on that belief, the distinctive valuing of religion would begin to play a crucial role. Let me take two contemporary examples of religious accommodation. First, consider the question of whether students should be entitled to wear yarmulkas when headgear is prohibited by a school’s dress code. Why do we think this situation raises special reasons to vary the rule, reasons that would not be raised by a student’s desire to wear, say, a baseball cap?

Some commentators try to avoid entanglement with religion by seeking to calculate the relative prejudice in non-religious terms. 18 On this view, our concern should be to ensure that equivalent prejudice is treated equivalently. But surely this is disingenuous as an explanation for freedom of religion. There is no serious attempt to gauge the anxiety experienced by a yarmulka-wearer and compare it to that experienced by the wearer of eyeglasses or, for that matter, that of anyone else who is discouraged or forbidden from playing.

UNDERSTANDING THE RELIGION IN FREEDOM OF RELIGION 35 believe. They are not punished for their beliefs. But clearly any adequate conception of religious freedom would be triggered by such a law, precisely because the prohibition of communion wine raises special concerns, concerns that are not present in other contexts. We may decide that the benefits of a total prohibition outweigh those concerns, but special consideration would be necessary, consideration not required if only social drinking were affected.

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