Law, Religion, and Feeling Included/Excluded: Case Studies in Canadian Religious Freedom Litigation
Canadian Journal of Law and Society (Forthcoming 2015)
26 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015
Date Written: December 12, 2014
Based on a small qualitative study of three religious freedom cases, this article uses litigant narratives as springboards for reflection on the theme of inclusion in the Canadian political community. The article attends to the affective dimension of inclusion, focusing on whether participants felt included or excluded. Successful litigants told narratives of Canada as a country in which they could be included in public life without forgoing their religious practices. The narratives of unsuccessful litigants were more complex. These particular litigants did not have a desire to participate in public practices and institutions. Rather, these narratives understood religious freedom on a contractual basis, portraying their loss in court as a breach of covenant. Moreover, though these narratives contained themes of rejection and exclusion, participants said that they had faith enough in their eventual success that they would stay in Canada rather than emigrate.
Keywords: Freedom of Religion, Law and Religion, Qualitative Methods in Law, Multiculturalism
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation