Religion in Public Spaces
This timely volume discusses the much debated and controversial subject of the presence of religion in the public sphere. The book is divided in three sections. In the first the public/private distinction is studied mainly from a theoretical point of view, through the contributions of lawyers, philosophers and sociologists. In the following sections their proposals are tested through the analysis of two case studies, religious dress codes and places of worship. These sections include discussions on some of the most controversial recent cases from around Europe with contributions from some of the leading experts in the area of law and religion. Covering a range of very different European countries including Turkey, the UK, Italy and Bulgaria, the book uses comparative case studies to illustrate how practice varies significantly even within Europe. It reveals how familiarization with religious and philosophical diversity in Europe should lead to the modification of legal frameworks historically designed to accommodate majority religions. This in turn should give rise to recognition of new groups and communities and eventually, a more adequate response to the plurality of religions and beliefs in European society.
Religion in the Public Space
Religion in the public sphere is one of the most debated issues in the field of law and religion. This volume brings together articles which address some of the more prominent recent cases relating to religion and education, religion and the workplace, family law and religious symbols. The essays discuss the meaning of secularism today and the difficult issue of religion in the public sphere and reflect a wide variety of viewpoints. This volume maps the key elements of this multi-faceted problem, offers essential material and provides an important starting point for an understanding of the issues in this century old debate.
Religion Out Loud
For six months in 2004, controversy raged in Hamtramck, Michigan, as residents debated a proposed amendment that would exempt the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer, from the city’s anti-noise ordinance. The call to prayer functioned as a flashpoint in disputes about the integration of Muslims into this historically Polish‑Catholic community. No one openly contested Muslims’ right to worship in their mosques, but many neighbors framed their resistance around what they regarded as the inappropriate public pronouncement of Islamic presence, an announcement that audibly intruded upon their public space. Throughout U.S. history, complaints about religion as noise have proven useful both for restraining religious dissent and for circumscribing religion’s boundaries more generally. At the same time, religious individuals and groups rarely have kept quiet. They have insisted on their right to practice religion out loud, implicitly advancing alternative understandings of religion and its place in the modern world. In Religion Out Loud, Isaac Weiner takes such sonic disputes seriously. Weaving the story of religious “noise” through multiple historical eras and diverse religious communities, he convincingly demonstrates that religious pluralism has never been solely a matter of competing values, truth claims, or moral doctrines, but of different styles of public practice, of fundamentally different ways of using body and space—and that these differences ultimately have expressed very different conceptions of religion itself. Weiner’s innovative work encourages scholars to pay much greater attention to the publicly contested sensory cultures of American religious life.
Religion and Civil Society
This book presents the first full-length study of the relationship between religion and the controversial concept of civil society. Across the world in the last two decades of the twentieth century religions re-entered public space as influential discursive and symbolic systems apparently beyond the control of either traditional religious authorising institutions or states. This differentiation of religion from traditional institutions and entry into secular public spheres carries both dangers and possible benefits for democracy. Offering a fresh interdisciplinary approach to understanding religion in contemporary societies, this book provides an invaluable resource for students and researchers in religious studies, sociology, politics and political philosophy, theology, international relations and legal studies. Part one presents a critical introduction to the interaction between religion, modernization and postmodernization in Western and non-Western settings (America, Europe, the Middle East and India), focussing on discourses of human rights, civil society and the public sphere, and the controversial question of their cross-cultural application. Part two examines religion and civil society through case studies of Egypt, Bosnia and Muslim minorities in Britain, and compares Poland as an example of a Christian majority society that has experienced the public reassertion of religion.
Secular and Sacred
Shaped by five hundred years of Lutheran impact and with a strong influence of big majority churches, Scandinavian secularity is a very interesting and fruitful material for the historical and contemporary theoretical debate on the secular. It can be discussed, for example, whether the strong position of Human Rights and of the Scandinavian welfare state might be interpreted in continuity with the historical influence of Protestant traditions. Is there something like a hidden sacrality implicit in the Scandinavian secular?
Routledge Handbook of Law and Religion
The field of law and religion studies has undergone a profound transformation over the last thirty years, looking beyond traditional relationships between State and religious communities to include rights of religious liberty and the role of religion in the public space. This handbook features new, specially commissioned papers by a range of eminent scholars that offer a comprehensive overview of the field of law and religion. The book takes on an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from anthropology, sociology, theology and political science in order to explore how laws and court decisions concerning religion contribute to the shape of the public space. Key themes within the book include: Religions symbols in the public space; Religion and security; Freedom of religion and cultural rights; Defamation and hate speech; Gender, religion and law; This advanced level reference work is essential reading for students, researchers and scholars of law and religion, as well as policy makers in the field.
Why the French Don t Like Headscarves
The French government's 2004 decision to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious signs from public schools puzzled many observers, both because it seemed to infringe needlessly on religious freedom, and because it was hailed by many in France as an answer to a surprisingly wide range of social ills, from violence against females in poor suburbs to anti-Semitism. Why the French Don't Like Headscarves explains why headscarves on schoolgirls caused such a furor, and why the furor yielded this law. Making sense of the dramatic debate from his perspective as an American anthropologist in France at the time, John Bowen writes about everyday life and public events while also presenting interviews with officials and intellectuals, and analyzing French television programs and other media. Bowen argues that the focus on headscarves came from a century-old sensitivity to the public presence of religion in schools, feared links between public expressions of Islamic identity and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that built support for a headscarf ban during 2003-2004. Although the defense of laïcité (secularity) was cited as the law's major justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media linked the scarves to more concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence toward women. Written in engaging, jargon-free prose, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves is the first comprehensive and objective analysis of this subject, in any language, and it speaks to tensions between assimilation and diversity that extend well beyond France's borders.
Presence of the Cross in Public Spaces
The judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Lautsi vs. Italy (3 November 2009 and 18 March 2011) served as a catalyst for the debate on the presence of the cross in the public space in a number of European states. What are the effects of this debate? What is the meaning attributed to so-called negative religious freedom viewed in relation to the right to manifest religion and protect tradition and culture? Answers to these and related questions are provided in this volume by experienced contributors, who adopt diversified research perspectives and viewpoints. The analyses presented here concern not only the established democracies of Western Europe, but also post-communist states. Owing to the multifaceted approach thus offered, the book will prove to be helpful in distinguishing the implications of respect for the freedom of thought, conscience and religion from the consequences of diversified constitutional norms adopted in individual states, and also from subjective expectations.
Public Religions in the Modern World
In a sweeping reconsideration of the relation between religion and modernity, Jose Casanova surveys the roles that religions may play in the public sphere of modern societies. During the 1980s, religious traditions around the world, from Islamic fundamentalism to Catholic liberation theology, began making their way, often forcefully, out of the private sphere and into public life, causing the "deprivatization" of religion in contemporary life. No longer content merely to administer pastoral care to individual souls, religious institutions are challenging dominant political and social forces, raising questions about the claims of entities such as nations and markets to be "value neutral", and straining the traditional connections of private and public morality. Casanova looks at five cases from two religious traditions (Catholicism and Protestantism) in four countries (Spain, Poland, Brazil, and the United States). These cases challenge postwar—and indeed post-Enlightenment—assumptions about the role of modernity and secularization in religious movements throughout the world. This book expands our understanding of the increasingly significant role religion plays in the ongoing construction of the modern world.
Religion in the New Europe
This book offers a unique transdisciplinary collection of essays written by highly renowned international scholars.