Faith-Based Non-Governmental Organizations in the Public Square
32 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2014 Last revised: 26 Aug 2014
Date Written: June 30, 2014
This chapter has both a methodological and a substantive aim. First, I suggest, using the role and function of NGOs in religiously related legal disputes as a paradigm example, the distinction between institutional, doctrinal, and theoretical approaches to the study of the relationship between religion and law is sometimes unhelpful, creating a barrier preventing us from understanding the phenomenon that we are examining. Instead, I suggest that a more integrated understanding, drawing on each of these approaches and seeing how they relate to each other, may well be more illuminating. The second aim of this chapter is to suggest, in a preliminary way, that the phenomenon of faith-based organizations should be more integrated than in the past into doctrinal and theoretical debates in the area of law and religion, in particular the problem of how liberal society is to engage with organized religion where there is a fundamental dispute as to who represents that religion, or what the basic tenets of that religion are.
Keywords: Religion and the law, NGOs, faith-based organisations
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