Religious Freedom in the Liberal State, 2nd edition

Religious Freedom in the Liberal State, Second Edition
Rex Adhar and Ian Leigh
Oxford University Press 2013

Examining the law and public policy relating to religious liberty in Western liberal democracies, this book contains a detailed analysis of the history, rationale, scope, and limits of religious freedom from (but not restricted to) an evangelical Christian perspective. Focussing on United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and EU, it studies the interaction between law and religion at several different levels, looking at the key debates that have arisen. 

  • Develops a normative theory of religious freedom from a liberal democratic standpoint
  • Provides an invaluable comparative analysis of major Anglophone common law jurisdictions and European human rights jurisprudence

New to this edition:

  • Increased coverage of Islam and the flashpoint debates surrounding the accommodation of Muslim beliefs and practices in Anglophone nations
  • Analysis of recent case law and legislation in the UK, the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

About the Authors:

Rex Ahdar, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, and Ian Leigh, Professor of Law, Durham University

Rex Ahdar is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Otago, where he has taught since 1985. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley in 1991. His current teaching embraces: Competition Law, Contract Law, and Law and Religion. His research interests include: Competition Law and Policy, Church-State Relations, and Religious Freedom. Ian Leigh is Professor of Law at Durham University. His previous experience includes appointments at several UK universities, together with a period as a solicitor in local government, and visiting appointments at the universities of Otago, Florida, Virginia, Melbourne, and at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Review(s) from previous edition:

“This book is, without doubt, a terrific contribution on a very topical subject. Its strength is mainly in the excellent blend of philosophical, legal, rational and religious arguments in masterfully discussing the issues covered throughout the book and the rich resource of footnote references and selected bibliography provided in that regard. The book is definitely recommended reading for those interested in a critique of the traditional liberal theories and a religious perspective to the discourse on religious liberty in modern liberal states. – Mashood A. Baderin, E. H. R. L. R. Issue 3, 2006

“This is a very good book…[t]he range of material worked together by the authors is truly impressive, and as a result the book represents an invaluable vade-mecum to the debates of recent decades, at least as far as the English-speaking world is concerned. It must now be the first point of reference on questions of law and religion in this country.” – Julian Rivers, University of Bristol

“…there is no doubt that the book has very substantial merits. The authors are meticulous legal scholars, but also impressively proficient in political philosophy and theology, amongst other disciplines. Their accomplished text will deservedly appear at the top of many reading lists in the next few years.” – Colin Munro, Ecclesiastical Law Journal

Table of Contents

Part I
1: Christian Perspectives
2: Liberal Perspectives
Part II
3: Models of Religion-State Relations
4: Legal Protection of Religious Freedom
5: Is Establishment Consistent with Religious Freedom?
6: Limits to Religious Freedom
Part III
7: Families, Parents, and Children
8: Education
9: Medical Treatment
10: Employment
11: Religious Group Autonomy
12: Religious Expression and Protest