Constitutionalism and Religion

Constitutionalism and Religion

Elgar Monographs in Constitutional and Administrative Law series

Francois Venter

This topical book examines how the goals of constitutionalism – good and fair government – are addressed at a time when the multi-religious composition of countries’ populations has never before been so pronounced.

Introduction

Francois Venter

Subjects: law - academic, constitutional and administrative law, law and society, legal philosophy

Extract

The key question that is addressed in this book is how the notion ‘constitutionalism’ can provide the constitutional state with functional standards according to which the challenges of religious pluralism may be dealt with justly. Why this is a relevant question is determined by various factors. In 1991 M.H.A. Reisman wrote perceptively: Since the Iranian Revolution, a new vocabulary and a new set of demands appear to have found an enduring place in discussions about international politics and law. They have generated curiosity about and a renewed scholarly interest in religion and its potentially explosive political effect on our science-based civilization, which takes pride in cultivating the capacity for sophisticated, rational and logical thoughts and which has, in many ways replaced supernatural beliefs with scientific theories. Since then ‘our science-based civilization’ has on the one hand continued on the road of an exponential progression in scientific and technological advances, while on the other hand the world has seen a concomitant escalation of religiosity, probably enhanced by religion-related conflict and by the growth of religious pluralism in the global demography.