Religion and Law: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religion and Law

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Peter W. Edge


168 pages

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Discussion of the way in which law engages with religious difference often takes place within the context of a single jurisdiction. Religion and Law: An Introduction, presents a comprehensive text for students, drawing on examples from across key Anglophone jurisdictions - the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as international law, to explore a broad range of issues. Aimed at a non-legal readership, this book introduces the use of legal sources and focuses on factual situations as much as legal doctrine. Key issues arising from interaction of the religious individual and the State are discussed, as well as the religious organisation or community and the State. The interaction is explored through case studies of areas as diverse as the legal regulation of religious drug use, sacred spaces and sacred places, and claims of clergy misconduct. Taking a broad, non-jurisdictional approach to the key issues, in particular providing insights differing from the dominant US experiences and paradigms, this student-friendly textbook includes a clearly structured bibliography and clear guidance on how to approach relevant legal materials.


'Complex ideas are made readily intelligible… The intended readership of this work is unlikely to be disappointed. It is informative and well researched. The style is lively and unstuffy. It raises difficult questions, and avoids oversimplification… it is provocative and challenging. It fills a gap in the market for a work that provides a critical description of the landscape in which religion and law seek peaceably to co-exist.' Church Times '…a very useful introduction to the relationship of law and religion. … aims at a nonlegal reader, including students, but offers much of use to those who are legally trained as well. … a thoughtful analysis of why law is important to religion… He develops a taxonomy of religious interests that scholars will find useful. … For scholars and others interested in this arena of study, the volume will be a welcome addition to available resources. The volume has a useful list of recommended readings and a substantial bibliography of other sources.' Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion '… very accessibly written (a precious and rare quality which cannot be overestimated among legal scholars) and - probably its strongest point - loaded with a wide and representative selection of legal cases and pivotal decisions which take account of religious plurality.' Marburg Journal of Religion 'It is a readable and useful introduction to the subject… this book is a useful part of a student's library.' Theological Book Review ’…this book is a valuable, well-researched, and wide-ranging contribution to our understanding of the relationship between religion and law in contemporary Western societies… Edge has begun an important line of inquiry from which scholars of a number of fields, including law, political science, history, and religion, can benefit.' Law and Politics Book Review ’Peter Hedge has written a detailed and informative book on the interface between religion and law. It is full of int

Table of Contents

Contents: Thinking about law thinking about religion; Religious interests in international and domestic laws; The state and the individual; The state and the religious organisation; Conclusions; Further reading; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Peter W. Edge is Reader in Law and Religion at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

About the Series

Religion, Culture and Society Series

Religion, Culture and Society Series

The Religion, Culture and Society series presents a focused cluster of high profile titles exploring the critical issues of contemporary society and culture, and relationships to and within living religions. Each book offers an accessible, stimulating new contribution to key topics. The series explores constructions of religion and religious issues from a range of perspectives, offering accessible texts by scholars based within and outside traditional religious studies who are able to bring immersion in their own disciplines to the study of contemporary religion, culture and society, enriching understanding across all three elements. The series will prove of particular value to higher level undergraduate students for their course studies in the areas of contemporary culture, society, media, law, and religious studies, as well as to academics, graduates and postgraduate readers worldwide.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General