Law as a Precondition for Religious Freedom

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

April 2011

MPI Collective Goods Preprint No. 2011/6

Throughout history, people have suffered for the sake of their religion. Religious organisations have been forbidden or governments have tightly controlled them. The constitutional protection of freedom of religion is a necessity. In a religiously pluralistic world, granting the guarantee is also in the state’s best interest. Yet religions have been hesitant to embrace the guarantee. It implies secularism. Religious freedom is balanced against other freedoms, and against legitimate state interests. Government is faced with social forces that are grounded in eternity and that cannot be proven to be wrong. Seemingly the constitutional protection is a threatening for religions and the state as it is beneficial. Yet the essentially pragmatic nature of law overcomes the tragic dilemma – albeit only at the price of acknowledging that jurisprudence is policy-making.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

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Date posted: April 8, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph, Law as a Precondition for Religious Freedom (April 2011). MPI Collective Goods Preprint No. 2011/6. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1803254 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1803254

Contact Information

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )
Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics
Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
University of Osnabrueck - Faculty of Law
c/o Prof. Dr. Schneider
Osnabruck, D-49069
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