Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1701475
 
 

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Fighting for the Debtor's Soul: Regulating Religious Commercial Conduct


Michael A. Helfand


Pepperdine University School of Law

November 15, 2011

George Mason Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2011
Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011/6

Abstract:     
While courts often think of religion in terms of faith, prayer, and conscience, many religious groups are increasingly looking to religion as a source of law, commerce, and contract. As a result, courts are being called upon to apply the church autonomy doctrine – which bars courts from reviewing matters of faith, doctrine, and church governance – where commercial conduct is religiously motivated. In this Article, I consider an example of the challenges faced by courts when trying to interpret and regulated religious commerical conduct: the constitutionality of imposing sanctions for violating the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay by submitting a dispute for religious arbitration. In considering this example, I suggest that courts, instead of trying to take religion out of the equation, need to develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the religious dynamics of a case to know when they can – and cannot – review and regulate the conduct in question.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: Church Autonomy, Religious Arbitration, Shunning, Establishment Clause, Automatic Stay

JEL Classification: K00, K40

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Date posted: November 2, 2010 ; Last revised: November 15, 2011

Suggested Citation

Helfand, Michael A., Fighting for the Debtor's Soul: Regulating Religious Commercial Conduct (November 15, 2011). George Mason Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2011; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011/6. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1701475

Contact Information

Michael A. Helfand (Contact Author)
Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
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