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Recognizing Religion In A Secular Society: Essays In Pluralism, Religion, And Public Policy Paperback – October 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgill Queens Univ Pr (October 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773528342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773528345
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'"This is a splendid collection of essays. Although the subject has been well worked over in recent years, the contributors have many new and interesting things to say. The opening essay by Prince El Hassan bin Talal, on Islamic understandings of the relationship of religion and government, is fascinating and extremely timely. This is a bold and original collection." Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

About the Author

Douglas Farrow is associate professor of Christian thought at McGill University. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on November 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Recognizing Religion in a Secular Society is a 2004 collection of nine essays about a wide variety of topics within the general category of the relationship between religion and government. The essays are more in the vein of philosophy and ethics than legal scholarship, and with an exception or two tend to have a pro-religion bent. Four of the essays are very Canadian-focussed, but the others are general enough that the collection is useful to non-Canadians interested in religion and secularism.

"Religion in the Public Realm" by H.R.H. Prince El Hassan Bin Talal is a short essay written from a Muslim perspective. The author argues that, contrary to to its reputation, Islam is compatible with democracy and pluralism and is undergoing "a gradual but nonetheless thoroughgoing process of evolution that is changing our religion as comprehensively as any revolution[.]" (p. 8). It's hard to make a persuasive case for such a controversial claim in just 8 pages, and therefore the essay is heavy on assertion and light on evidence or analysis.

"Freedom of Religion and the Rule of Law: A Canadian Perspective" is an important essay as it was written by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin. She addresses what she believes is the dilemma facing all liberal democracies: how to reconcile an individual's deep-seated commitment to religious principle with society's obligation to enforce the rule of law. (p. 16) McLachlin maintains that it is the responsibility of courts to find "in the comprehensive claims of the rule of law, a space in which individual and community adherence to religious authority can flourish." (p.
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