Law and Religion in the 21st Century: States and Religious Communities

Law and Religion in the 21st Century: Relations between States and Religious Communities
Silvio Ferrari and Rinaldo Cristofori, eds.
Ashgate, 2010

This work, designed as a valuable resource for academics, students and policy-makers with an interest in the interaction between law and religion, brings together leading international scholars of law and religion to provide an overview of current issues in state-religion relations. The first part of the collection offers a picture of recent developments in key countries and regions. The second part is focused on Europe and, in particular, on the Nordic States and the post-communist countries where State-religion systems have undergone most profound change. The third and final part is devoted to four issues that are currently debated all over the world: the relations between freedom of expression and freedom of religion; proselytism and the right to change religion; the religious symbols; and the legal status of Islam in Europe and Canada.”


A perspective from the sociology of religion, Grace Davie

Part I Patterns of Law and Religion
State and religion in South Africa: open issues and recent developments, Lourens M. du Plessis
States and religions in West Africa: problems and perspectives, Fatou Kiné Camara
Religious communities and the state in modern India, Tahir Mahmood
State and religion in Japan. Yasukuni Shrine as a case study, Hiroaki Kobayashi
Religion and the state in the United States at the turn of the 21st century, W. Cole Durham Jr and Robert T. Smith
Religions and law: current challenges in Latin America, Juan Navarro Floria

Part II Law and Religion in Europe
Introduction and Case Studies: State and religion in Europe, Giuseppe Casuscelli
Section I Central and Eastern Europe
States and religions in post-Communist Europe, Giovanni Barberini
The recent developments of church-state relations in Central Europe, Balázs Schanda
Church and state relations in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, Antonello De Oto
Section II Northern Europe
States and churches in Northern Europe: achieving freedom and equality through establishment, Marco Ventura
Not even believing in belonging: states and churches in 5 North-European (post) Lutheran countries, Lisbet Christoffersen
Church and state in the United Kingdom: anachronism or microcosm, Mark Hill

Part III Current Debates

Section I Freedom of Expression/Freedom of Religion 

Protection against religious hatred under the United Nations ICCPR and the European Convention system, Jeroen Temperman
Religious freedom and freedom of expression in France, Blandine Chélini-Pont
Section II Proselytism
Limits and Guarantees of a Debated Right: Proselytism and the right to change religion, Asher Moaz
Proselytism and the right to change religion in Islam, Roberta Aluffi Beck-Peccoz
Proselytism and the right to change religion in Israel, Aviad Hacohen
Proselytism and the right to change religion: the Romanian debate, Nicolae V. Dura
Section III Different Approaches to Religious Symbols in Public Spaces
Religious symbols: an introduction, Malcolm D. Evans
Religious symbols between forum internum and forum externum, Peter Petkoff
A brief introduction on the religious symbols debate in Italy and the United States, Adelaide Madera
The European Court of Human Rights on religious symbols in public institutions – a comparative perspective: maximum protection of the freedom of religion through judicial minimalism?, Hans Martien Th.D. ten Napel and Florian H.K. Theissen
Civil religion and religious symbols in public institutions in Russia, Elena Miroshnikova
Section IV The Legal Status of Islam in Western States
The current debate on Islam, Mathias Rohe
Canadian Muslim women and resolution of family conflicts: an empirical qualitative study (2005–2007), Anne Saris and Jean-Mathieu Potvin
The implementation of the 1992 agreement in Spain, Carmen Garcimartín
Islam at the threshold, Andrea Pin

Silvio Ferrari


About the Editors:
Silvio Ferrari is Professor of Canon Law, University of Milan and President, International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, Italy. His research interests are in the areas of Church and State in Europe; Comparative law of religions, and Vatican-Israel relations. He has published widely on these and related areas.

Rinaldo Cristofori is a Research Student at the University of Milan. His research concentrates on the role played by religion within transitional societies. In 2009, he was a member of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Group.

‘This rich volume identifies that there is no incompatibility between religion and modernity. Compared to other parts of the world, Europeans have been slow to acknowledge the growing impact of religion in the public sphere and the presence of alternative modernities. This is not just a matter of data, but of approaches.’ — Werner Menski, University of London, UK

‘It is a sign of the success of the book that this reader was left wanting more. The publication of papers from future ICLARS meetings will be eagerly anticipated. Law and Religion in the 21st Century is a most welcome addition to the growing literature in this field.’ — Politics, Religion and Ideology


‘This wide-ranging volume offers a collection of thirty essays on the timely and topical issue of state and religion relations in an age of religious revival… Overall, the volume is most successful in conveying the message that law in general, and constitutional law in particular, has become a crucial domain for addressing the tensions brought into play by the intersection of state and religion in today’s world. The volume’s comparative outlook is certainly refreshing.’ — Journal of Church and State