Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe

1st Edition

Edited by Myriam Hunter-Henin


410 pages

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This collection considers how contemporary cultural and religious diversity challenges and redefines national constitutional and legal frameworks and concepts, within the context of education. It offers a critical reflection on the extent and meanings given to religious freedom in education across Europe. The contributions deal primarily with Western Europe although the book also includes a study of the US vibrant debates on Creationism. This volume considers issues such as religious expression, faith schooling and worship in schools, in a multidisciplinary and comparative approach. The book first examines key concepts, before presenting national models of religion and education in Europe and analyzing case studies relating to religious symbols worn at school and to the teaching of religious education. Legal questions are examined in a wider context, in the light of the intentions of state policy and of current national and transnational debates. Controversies on the legal implications of personal and national identities are for example analyzed. From a comparative perspective, the chapters examine the possible converging power of human rights and anti-discrimination discourses and reveal the difficulties and risks involved in seeking to identify the best model for Europe. This topical study of a highly sensitive area of education presents a valuable insight for students, researchers and academics with an interest in cultural and religious diversity, human rights and education.


'Nowhere is the relationship between religions and the state more contested than in the field of education. Dr. Hunter-Henin has assembled an impressive collection of legal perspectives which are firmly rooted in comparative analysis and constitutional principle. At last we have a volume which does justice to the complexity of the topic.' Julian Rivers, University of Bristol, UK 'When the theories of secularisation are being questioned, these essays cast fresh light on the complex articulation between education and religion in several countries, and on the many ways to solve the tensions between the demands of individuals or communities and the norms of societies. A must read for all concerned.' Luc Borot, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, France 'This is an excellent book. Its varied studies indicate unequivocally that education is not only an issue of profound importance in relations between religions and the state but also that it is one of the most hotly debated topics in contemporary society. The scholars who have contributed to this volume provide critical yardsticks for both the place of religion in education and the types of religion and state relations in Europe and beyond.' Norman Doe, Cardiff University, UK 'While many of the essays inevitably overlap, all are thoroughly argued and together provide a wide overview of principles and case studies that may yet influence the courts in a field that is rapidly changing.' Ecclesiastical Law Journal ’This welcome addition to the current literature on law, education and religious freedoms draws together analyses from contributors with a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds… provides an impressive array of analysis and perspectives and will be of great interest to all scholars in the field of law and religion, and a necessary acquisition for anyone with a particular concern for education and religious freedom.’ International and Comparative Law Quarterly ’…brings together st

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Robert Jackson; Preface, Myriam Hunter-Henin; Introduction: religious freedoms in European schools: contrasts and convergence, Myriam Hunter-Henin; Part I Key Concepts: Laïcité, Integration, Identity and Discrimination: The classroom as a tolerance lab, Lorenzo Zucca; Jewish day schools in France: mapping their Jewish identity proposals, Martine Cohen; Having faith in our schools: struggling with definitions of religion, Arif A. Jamal and Farid Panjwani; Religious discrimination and schools: the employment of teachers and the public sector duty, Lucy Vickers. Part II National Models: Religion, regionalism and education in the United Kingdom: tales from Wales, Russell Sandberg and Anna Buchanan; Religion and education in Northern Ireland: voluntary segregation reflecting historical divisions, Christopher McCrudden; The French model: tensions between laïc and religious allegiances in French state and Catholic schools, Blandine Chélini-Pont; Religious education in a religiously neutral state: the German model, Heinrich de Wall; The controversy surrounding the denominational teaching of religion in Spanish state schools, Javier García Oliva. Part III Case Studies: The Influence of Religion on Teaching Content and School Ethos: Religious education in Europe in the 21st century, Peter Cumper; Religious education and religious liberty: opt-outs and young people’s sense of belonging, Alison Mawhinney, Ulrike Niens, Norman Richardson and Yuko Chiba; History textbooks within the framework of the French laïcité, Anna Van den Kerchove; Teaching evolution, creationism, and intelligent design in US schools (with some European comparisons), Eric Barendt; Beating people is wrong: Campbell and Cosans, Williamson and their aftermath, Frank Cranmer. Part IV Case Studies: Religious Symbols at School: Bracelets, rings and veils: the accommodation of religious symbols in the uniform policies of English schools, Mark Hill; A uniform approach to religious discr

About the Editor

Myriam Hunter-Henin joined the Faculty of Laws, UCL, in September 2003. She was formerly a researcher and lecturer at Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). Her main interests are Comparative Law, Family Law, Law and Religion, Private International Law and Bioethics. Her work addresses the implications of human rights in the private sphere, especially the challenges posed to the legal theory of Conflict of Laws and to traditional concepts of family law such as marriage and motherhood. It also addresses the interaction and tensions between law and religion in the sphere of education and family law in a comparative perspective. She is currently Deputy Director for the Faculty’s various international programmes and Director of the European Double Degree Programmes. She is also a Fellow of the Comité français de droit international privé in Paris, France, and co-director of the Institute of Global law.

About the Series

Cultural Diversity and Law

Cultural Diversity and Law
Around the world, most states are faced with difficult issues arising out of cultural diversity in their territories. Within the legal field, such issues span across matters of private law through to public and constitutional law. At international level too there is now considerable jurisprudence regarding ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. In addition, there are several layers of legal control - from communal and religious regulation to state and international regulation. This multiplicity of norm setting has been variously termed legal pluralism, inter-legality or inter-normativity and provides a fascinating lens for academic analysis that links up to cultural diversity in new and interesting ways. The umbrella of cultural diversity encompasses various population groups throughout the world ranging from national, ethnic, religious or indigenous groupings. This series particularly welcomes work that is of comparative interest, concerning various state jurisdictions as well as different population groups.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights