In Search of Principle

Julian Rivers

in The Law of Organized Religions

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199226108
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594243 | DOI:
In Search of Principle

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This chapter draws together the preceding material to make a case for two fundamental constitutional principles in the law of organized religions. These principles are reflected in the human rights case law and the history of the development of English law. The argument proceeds by rejecting individual rights as inadequate to describe or defend the current law. Two key ideas are clarified: establishment and secularism. Both are found wanting as an appropriate constitutional model. In particular, a dangerous slippage in the law from secularism-as-separation to secularism-as-indifference is highlighted. Instead, the two fundamental constitutional principles are autonomy and neutrality, understood as autonomy on the part of the organized religion and neutrality on the part of the state. Once these are identified and rendered precise it becomes clear that the law of organized religions is — and must remain — located between establishment and secularism.

Keywords: constitutional; principle; organized religions; establishment; secularism; autonomy; neutrality

Chapter.  16509 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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