Welcome to the Neighbourhood: Religion, Law and Living Together
(2016) 75 Supreme Court L. Rev. (2d) 63
D. Newman, ed., Religious Freedom and Communities (Markham: Lexis Nexis, 2016)
12 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 4, 2016
The realities of a contemporary Montreal neighbourhood with a substantial Chasidic Jewish population reveal ongoing negotiation of community contours and intersecting ways in which respect and room for religious practices and norms, groups and individuals, are generated and sustained. A range of examples of community life, with an emphasis on education, shows that a constitutional guarantee of religious freedom for faith-based institutions or collectives is neither the only, nor the most desirable, form of recognition for religious communities. Any notion of collective religious freedom that attempts to fix the contours and normative structures of a religious institution or community should be subject to serious challenge. Indeed, as the paper illustrates, religious communities can evolve and flourish despite, and even because of, the absence of formal collective rights and freedoms.
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