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Contribution to Book
Against Circumspection: Judges, Religious Symbols, and Signs of Moral Independence
Religion and the Exercise of Public Authority
  • Benjamin Berger, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
  • Religious discrimination--Law and legislation,
  • Judicial independence,
  • Sentences (Criminal procedure)--Religious aspects,
  • Religion and law,
  • Criminal justice, Administration of,
  • Canada,
  • Québec
This chapter questions the interpretation of religious ­ signs and symbols— and the interpretive possibilities that emerge when we demand more from one another in thinking about such symbols— by ­ examining the question of judges and religious dress in the particular context of the judge’s role as wielding the coercive force of the state through the exercise of criminal punishment. I advance the argument that recent debates have proceeded on a misleadingly simplistic approach to understanding the meaning of signs of religious belonging and identity in this setting and that, with this, we miss an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the virtues that we hope to find in our public officials.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Berger, Benjamin. “Against Circumspection: Judges, Religious Symbols, and Signs of Moral Independence.” In Religion and the Exercise of Public Authority. Benjamin L. Berger and Richard Moon. London: Hart Publishing, 2016. 23-39.