Competing Theories of Religion and Law in the Supreme Court of the United States: An Hasidic Case

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Abstract

The meaning and application of the religion clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution are currently a matter of intense and increasingly intractable public debate. The academic study of religion can make a positive contribution to this debate by inviting its participants into a conversation about human religion that is already struggling with problems of definition and of language and that wishes to affirm the existence and importance of human religion without establishing a particular definition of religion, without unconsciously theologizing. A close examination of the legal debate can, in turn, serve the purposes of scholars of religion. The politically charged context of First Amendment jurisprudence provides an interesting laboratory in which to test theories of religion.

Competing Theories of Religion and Law in the Supreme Court of the United States: An Hasidic Case

in Numen

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