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A Legal Perspective on Conflicts Involving Religious Communities

28 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009 Last revised: 9 Oct 2009

Scott C. Idleman

Marquette University

Date Written: July 27, 2009


Within any given state or society, numerous factors can influence both relations among religious communities and relations between these communities and other institutions or value systems, including scientific communities, schools of economic or legal thought, and various ideological or political movements. Though some of these factors obviously arise from within the beliefs and structures of the religions themselves, many arise from the history, political culture, and legal framework of the state or society in which a given religious community is situated. This paper discusses the potential role of law and the legal system in influencing these relations and addressing conflicts among these communities and institutions. After explaining in general terms the relevance of a legal perspective to the assessment and resolution of such disagreements, the paper specifically examines characteristics of the constitutional framework and political culture of the United States that appear to prevent or minimize conflicts involving religious communities.

Keywords: Religion, conflict, constitution

Suggested Citation

Idleman, Scott C., A Legal Perspective on Conflicts Involving Religious Communities (July 27, 2009). Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 09-35. Available at SSRN: or

Scott C. Idleman (Contact Author)

Marquette University ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States
414-288-5362 (Phone)

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