The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law

The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law
Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed.
Cambridge University Press Academic 2018

Like many beliefs, religious views matter across an individual’s life and the life cycle of a family – from birth to marriage, through child-rearing, and, eventually, death. This volume examines clashes over religious liberty within the personal realm of the family. Against swirling religious beliefs, secular values, and legal regulation, this volume offers a forward-looking examination of tensions between religious freedom and the state’s protective function. Contributors unpack some of the Court’s recent decisions and explain how they set the stage for ongoing disputes. They evaluate religious claims around birth control, circumcision, modesty, religious education, marriage, polygamy, shared parenting, corporal punishment, faith healing, divorce, and the end of life. Authors span legislators, attorneys, academics, journalists, ministers, physicians, child advocates, and representatives of minority faiths. The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law begins an overdue conversation on questions dividing the nation.

  • The first book to explore the implications of Obergefell v. Hodges and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby since the election of President Trump
  • Covers some of the most intractable and pressing social conflicts in American culture today, including faith healing, access to contraceptives, respect for minority cultures in public spaces, home schooling, the ‘right’ kind of marriage, claims of religious objectors not to facilitate access to emergency contraceptives, and civil marriage
  • The authors utilize a wide range of analytical tools including: economic theory, constitutional law, social science analysis, empirical methods, historical examination of the law’s development, and comparative perspectives from other countries (Israel, Australia, France, and various parts of Europe)
Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at the University of Illinois College of Law.
Orrin Hatch, Robin Fretwell Wilson, Elizabeth Sepper, Michael A. Helfand, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Mark L. Rienzi, Gregory M. Lipper, Eric Rassbach, James G. Dwyer, Brian H. Bix, Margaret F. Brinig, Merle H. Weiner, Paul A. Offit, Shaakirrah Sanders, Kari E. Hong, Robin B. Kar, John Witte Jr, Maura Irene Strassberg, Richard L. Kaplan, Naomi Cahn, Amy Ziettlow, J. Stuart Adams, Anthony Michael Kreis, William N. Eskridge, Jr, Patrick M. Parkinson, Karin Carmit Yefet, Arianne Renan Barzilay, Asma T. Uddin


Advance praise:‘This book provides a comprehensive look at the tensions between equal rights and religious freedom. It examines not only the ongoing legislative and court battles over access to marriage, but further identifies the battles on the horizon over contraception, polygamy, circumcision, end of life decision-making, premarital agreements, divorce provisions about children’s religious upbringing, vaccinations, corporal punishment and similar matters rarely included in other works on law, religion, and the family. It is an exceptionally rich and timely collection.’ — June Carbone – Robina Chair in Law, Science, and Technology, University of Minnesota Law School

Advance praise: ‘In this volume, an all-star cast of contemporary thinkers provide a timely and important conversation on an issue of great complexity and urgency, the intersection of religion, law, and family. This book will be essential reading to understand where we are.’  —  Kyle Harper – Senior Vice President and Provost, Professor of Classics and Letters, University of Oklahoma