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Law and Religion, the fourth volume in the Current Legal Issues series, is a comprehensive treatment of an area that will stimulate and enlighten anyone interested in law and religion. Both common and civil law jurisdictions and a wide variety of cultural contexts are represented. In addition the volume contains contributions written from a wide variety of faith perspectives (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Ba'hai) as well as from a secular perspective.
Contributors discuss a series of difficult and important issues from the interaction in contemporary societies of law and religious practice to the coherence of the notion of the soul and of the scope and limits of our concept of religion in a post modern world. A major theme of the volume is the common hermeneutical questions faced by the Islamic Christian and Jewish traditions. In addition, the implications for religious practice of the contemporary ascendancy of human rights are thoroughly and critically considered.
A number of the essays argue forcefully for controversial conclusions such as the legitimacy of the claim by some of the Christian Churches in New Zealand to exemption from legislation prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the Court come under particular critical scrutiny for example in relation to their protection of freedom of religion in the work place. Consideration is given to the extent to which State law can, should and does provide a regulatory framework for the life of religious institutions without compromising their collective autonomy for example in relation to matters of doctrine.