Legal Secularism? – Differing Notions of Religion in International and Norwegian Law
Trygve E. Wyller, Rosemarie Van Den Breemer & Jose Casanova (eds), Secular and Sacred? The Scandinavian Case of Religion in Human Rights, Law and Public Space. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 123-151, 2014, ISBN: 3525604491
24 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 2, 2014
This chapter has two parts. In the first part, I introduce some conceptual issues concerning legal regulations of religion and their possible connections to the amorphous concept of secularism, before outlining some historical developments in international rules on religion. In the second part, I briefly chart the role of international law and religion in domestic legislation and ask whether Norwegian law conforms to a particular form of legal secularism. I trace the negotiation of international and domestic rules on religion in Norway across three legal areas: the registration of faith communities, the handling of asylum claims and the exemptions granted to religious communities from the general law on non-discrimination. In conclusion, I give a provisional assessment of the extent to which Norwegian law is secularist.
Keywords: secularism, law and religion, Norway, international law
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