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Religious Freedom in the Liberal State: Second Edition
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Religious Freedom in the Liberal State: Second Edition

Price: $114.00
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Published April 2013 (OUP)
ISBN: 9780199606474. Hard Cover.

Rex Ahdar, Ian Leigh 

Examining the law and public policy relating to religious liberty in Western liberal democracies, this book contains a detailed analysis of the history, rationale, scope, and limits of religious freedom from (but not restricted to) an evangelical Christian perspective. Focussing on United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and EU, it studies the interaction between law and religion at several different levels, looking at the key debates that have arisen. 

Divided into three parts, the book begins by contrasting the liberal and Christian rationales for and understandings of religious freedom. It then explores central thematic issues: the types of constitutional frameworks within which any right to religious exercise must operate; the varieties of paradigmatic relationships between organized religion and the state; the meaning of 'religion'; the limitations upon individual and institutional religious behaviour; and the domestic and international legal mechanisms that have evolved to address religious conduct. The final part explores key subject areas where current religious freedom controversies have arisen: employment; education; parental rights and childrearing; controls on pro-religious and anti-religious expression; medical treatment; and religious group (church) autonomy. This new edition is fully updated with the growing case law in the area, and features increased coverage of Islam and the flashpoint debates surrounding the accommodation of Muslim beliefs and practices in Anglophone nations. 



Part I 

1: Christian Perspectives 

2: Liberal Perspectives 

Part II 

3: Models of Religion-State Relations 

4: Legal Protection of Religious Freedom 

5: Is Establishment Consistent with Religious Freedom? 

6: Limits to Religious Freedom

Part III 

7: Families, Parents, and Children 

8: Education

9: Medical Treatment 

10: Employment

11: Religious Group Autonomy

12: Religious Expression and Protest Bibliography

Review from previous edition 

This book is, without doubt, a terrific contribution on a very topical subject. Its strength is mainly in the excellent blend of philosophical, legal, rational and religious arguments in masterfully discussing the issues covered throughout the book and the rich resource of footnote references and selected bibliography provided in that regard. The book is definitely recommended reading for those interested in a critique of the traditional liberal theories and a religious perspective to the discourse on religious liberty in modern liberal states.' Mashood A. Baderin, E. H. R. L. R. Issue 3, 2006 

`This is a very good book...[t]he range of material worked together by the authors is truly impressive, and as a result the book represents an invaluable vade-mecum to the debates of recent decades, at least as far as the English-speaking world is concerned. It must now be the first point of reference on questions of law and religion in this country.' Julian Rivers, University of Bristol

 `...there is no doubt that the book has very substantial merits. The authors are meticulous legal scholars, but also impressively proficient in political philosophy and theology, amongst other disciplines. Their accomplished text will deservedly appear at the top of many reading lists in the next few years.' Colin Munro, Ecclesiastical Law Journal

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