Can the Accommodationist Achieve Pluralism?
7 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2010
Date Written: March 7, 2008
In March of 2008, Seattle University School of Law hosted an engaging conference on Law, Religion and Pluralism. The theme of the conference – religion and pluralism – is not only unavoidable but is probably one of the most important issues of our times. This paper is based on my brief remarks on a panel dedicated to "reimagining the relationship between religion and law," and focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court’s church and state jurisprudence. In particular, I ask the question whether an approach to the Establishment Clause known as accommodationism is consonant with the larger concept of pluralism, particularly in the context of public religious symbols and displays. I propose two alternatives, signs and disclaimers, and tentatively conclude that the use of either might relieve the perceived tension between accommodation and pluralism.
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