This is a study about the law’s accommodation of religious practice and the brewing revolution within the legal profession against that accommodation. The revolution is especially evident, though not exclusively so, in sexual equality claims vis-à-vis religion. Originally, the study asked, “Why has religion been given special status in the law?” and “Should that status continue?” As a result of intense, multiyear research, I have come to recognize that there is within the legal profession a strident movement to remove from the law the traditional accommodation of religion. This study likens this phenomenon to a revolution, using Thomas S. Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions to analyze this development. This revolution manifested itself in the Trinity Western University law school case. Legal revolutions were contrasted from scientific revolutions in their goals, methodology, and perspectives. These differences are based in the varying values and desired outcomes of each discipline.
It is concluded that the legal revolution against religious accommodation is due to the law’s inability to answer critics of religion who favour sexual equality rights. There is on display a “rights inflation” phenomenon where the demands of equality rights have come to eclipse the legal norm of religious accommodation even in the private sphere. What was once considered private, such as running religious universities, is now viewed as public because of the state’s regulation of such institutions. This is a new phenomenon which threatens every publicly regulated religious enterprise.’
See for more information:
Lid, promotiecommissie, Alain Vannieuwenburg, ‘Pleidooi voor een lekenrenaissance. Een ideeënhistorische verkenning van de oorzaken en de gevolgen van de constitutionele verankering van de prerogatieven van de levensbeschouwingen in België met bijzondere aandacht voor het onderwijs’, 5 februari 2019
Lid, promotiecommissie, D. van der Blom, ‘De verhouding van staat en religie in een veranderende Nederlandse samenleving’, 6 juli 2016
Blogpost ‘On the Close Connection between Religious Freedom and Liberal Democracy’
Looking forward to participating in the above international and interdisciplinary conference, School of Divinity, New College, Edinburgh, 2-3 September 2019.
The description of the conference theme reads as follows:
‘Is populism on the rise? Across the political spectrum, populism is considered a catch-all category to be critiqued: describing something as populist and dismissing something as populist go hand in hand. But theological justifications of populism, such as the identification of Christianity with Europe, resonate with mainstream political positions that are articulated and accepted in the public square.
The critique of populism parallels and points to a critique of the role of theology in politics. This critique can come either as a rejection of the politicization of theology (presupposing that genuine theology ought to be non-political) or as a rejection of the theologization of politics (presupposing that genuine politics ought to be non-theological). What runs through these critiques is the assumption that claims to theology cause the populist polarization of the public square. Is populism yet another resurrection of Carl Schmitt? Whether populism is interpreted as an authentic account of religion or as an inauthentic appropriation of religion for political ends, it needs to be carefully examined and critically explored. Does theology in politics automatically lead to populism? Does populism automatically lead to theology in politics? What indeed is the role of political theologies in polarized times?
See for more information: https://www.ed.ac.uk/divinity/news-events/events/spirit-of-populism-conference.
Blogpost ‘The Political Theology of Thierry Baudet’
Forthcoming review essay of James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies
Book review: ‘The Political Theology of European Integration,’ by Mark R. Royce