With its increasingly secular and religiously diverse population Australia faces many challenges in determining how the state and religion should interact. Australia is not unique in facing these challenges. States worldwide, including common law countries with shared legal and religious heritages, have also been faced with the question of how the state and religion should relate to one another. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have all had to grapple with how to manage the state-religion relationship in the present day.
This book provides a comprehensive historical review of the interaction of the state and religion in Australia. It brings together multiple examples of areas in which the state and religion interact, and reviews these examples across Australia’s history from settlement through to present day. The book sets this story within a wider theoretical context via an examination of theories of state-religion relationships as well as a comparison with other similar common law jurisdictions.
The book demonstrates how the solutions arrived at in Australia is uniquely Australian owing to Australia’s unique legal system, religious demographics and history. However this is just one possible outcome among many that have been tried in common law liberal democracies.
Table of Contents
1: Introduction; Part I: Theory and Context; 2: Theories of State-Religion Relationships; 3: In the Beginning; 4: Religion in the Australian Constitution; 5: Comparison with other Jurisdictions; Part II: Australian Case Studies; 6: Contemporary Issues; 7: Restricting Religion; 8: Religion and Education; 9: Funding Religion; 10: Conclusion
Renae Barker is a lecturer in the Law School and Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia. She is a member of Bishop in Council and Trustee in the Anglican Diocese of Bunbury and a member of the legislation drafting committee for the Anglican Diocese of Perth. Renae has an LLB and Bachelor of Economics from Murdoch University and PhD from the University of Western Australia.