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Article
The Virtues of Law in the Politics of Religious Freedom
Journal of Law and Religion
  • Benjamin Berger, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
8-29-2014
Abstract
The moral force and capacity for inspiration of both religion and politics alike arise in part from the sense that they authentically map the world as we nd it, yielding claims about how it should be. This paper asks what role we might imagine for law in this “hyperreal” world of religion and politics, arguing that law can display distinctive virtues linked to its capacity for strategic agnosticism about the real. Applying Sunstein’s idea of “incompletely theorized agreements” to the politics of religious freedom, the paper examines the role of law as a tool of adhesion in two very different constitutional settings—Canada and Israel—and argues for modesty as a functional virtue in law and legal process. Viewed in this way, law draws its worth from its tolerance for ambiguity, its sub-theoretical nature, and its pragmatic proceduralism, seeking to sustain political community in the presence of normative diversity, rather than speaking truth to difference.
Comments

This article has been published in a revised form in the Journal of Law and Religion: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jlr.2014.17. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Berger, Benjamin and Jamie Cameron. "Introduction: The Virtues of Law in the Politics of Religious Freedom.” Journal of Law and Religion, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014, pp. 378-395.