Journal Article

Beyond Dissent and Compliance: Religious Decision Makers and Secular Law

Netta Barak-Corren

in Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 293-322
Published in print June 2017 | ISSN: 2047-0770
Published online April 2017 | e-ISSN: 2047-0789 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwx002
Beyond Dissent and Compliance: Religious Decision Makers and Secular Law

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ABSTRACT

Throughout history and across many societies, people have been facing conflicts between faith and the law. This article exposes and defines central dynamics of these conflicts by empirically investigating how educational leaders in religious communities tackle, reduce, and resolve conflicts with the law. Three main dynamics emerge: first, religious leaders frequently seek to harmonize law and religion by redefining the conflict around different themes, arguing that ‘true religion’ raises no conflict with the law or that ‘real law’ has been misinterpreted by the courts. Second, leaders withdraw religious normativity from conflict zones through nuanced distinctions of sphere and role. Third, religious leaders seek to restrain the reach of legal norms by constraining and reshaping state power. By highlighting the personal and institutional dimensions of conflict reduction and demonstrating the broader explanatory power of the theory, this article contributes to our understanding of one of the most enduring forms of conflict in society.

Journal Article.  15004 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Law ; Human Rights ; Law and Society

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