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The paradox of pluralism: Towards a relational approach to religious freedom

Sandberg, Russell ORCID: and Thompson, Sharon ORCID: 2018. The paradox of pluralism: Towards a relational approach to religious freedom. Durham, W. Cole and Thayler, Donlu, eds. Religion, Pluralism, and Reconciling Difference, ICLARS Series on Law and Religion, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 3-18.

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This chapter suggests that, although the literature on religious and legal pluralism has made a number of significant achievements, this literature has begun to perpetuate a particular story that is itself selective and constraining. Paradoxically, the pluralist focus is not pluralist enough. Ironically, although this literature has identified and critiqued a number of binary distinctions (most notably the public-private divide and understandings of religion/non-religion, law /non-law), the story it tells has perpetuated another binary focus: a dual spotlight upon the state and upon the religious group. This has overlooked the agency of individuals and failed to take into account the numerous interlocking power relationships that are in play. This chapter explores this paradox and how it can be overcome. It begins by looking at Ayelet Shachar’s 'Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights', a lauded work on religious pluralism and legal pluralism which identifies the missing story but then ironically makes the same mistake in sidelining agency in the solutions that it proposes. Drawing upon our previous work, we explain how a relational approach could overcome this, correcting the pluralist paradox.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781472464071
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 07:03

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