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.
Chapter One: Introduction
Part I: Theory and Context
Chapter Two: Theories of State-Religion Relationships
Chapter Three: In the Beginning
Chapter Four: Religion in the Australian Constitution
Chapter Five: Comparison with other Jurisdictions
Part II: Australian Case Studies
Chapter Six: Contemporary Issues
Chapter Seven: Restricting Religion
Chapter Eight: Religion and Education
Chapter Nine: Funding Religion
Chapter Ten: Conclusion
The practice of religion by individuals and groups, the rise of religious diversity, and the fear of religious extremism, raise profound questions for the interaction between law and religion in society. The regulatory systems involved, the religion laws of secular government (national and international) and the religious laws of faith communities, are valuable tools for our understanding of the dynamics of mutual accommodation and the analysis and resolution of issues in such areas as: religious freedom; discrimination; the autonomy of religious organisations; doctrine, worship and religious symbols; the property and finances of religion; religion, education and public institutions; and religion, marriage and children. In this series, scholars at the forefront of law and religion contribute to the debates in this area. The books in the series are analytical with a key target audience of scholars and practitioners, including lawyers, religious leaders, and others with an interest in this rapidly developing discipline.
Professor Norman Doe is Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, which he set up at Cardiff Law School in 1998.
Carmen Asiaín is a Law Professor at University of Montevideo (Uruguay).
Paul Babie is Professor and Associate Dean (International), Adelaide Law School.
Pieter Coertzen is the chairperson of the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion in the Beyers Naudé Center for Public Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch.
Alison Mawhinney is a Reader in Law at Bangor University.
Michael John Perry is a Senior Fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion and has held a Robert W. Woodruff University Chair there since 2003.