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Russell Sandberg

This introductory chapter explores the development of the area of Law and Religion to date and the drive towards interdisciplinarity. Drawing upon feminist scholarship, it argues that academic fields do not necessarily evolve organically and normatively; rather, their parameters are constructed and authored. An autobiographical reflective and reflexive account of the development of law and religion studies is therefore given, exploring the risks (or snakepits) and appeal (sandpits) of interdisciplinary work. The chapter concludes with the author’s introduction to the chapters that follow.

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Russell Sandberg

This chapter explores the work of Niklas Luhmann who identified law and religion as two social systems. Bringing together his work on law and religion for the first time, this chapter develops a sociological theory of law and religion. Developing new concepts and theories deriving from but refining social systems theory, it is proposed that religious legal systems should be defined and understood as social systems in their own right and that the way in which law represents religion has changed from what I call here ‘tolerated secularism’ to ‘multicultural juridification’, a representation which is now itself being challenged.

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Russell Sandberg

In recent years, interdisciplinary approaches to legal subjects have become increasingly commonplace. At the same time, interest in the interaction between law and religion has blossomed. However, more often than not, law and religion has developed as an area of study within Law Schools. This chapter explores the interdisciplinary movement within law and religion studies with special reference to sociology.

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Edited by Russell Sandberg, Norman Doe, Bronach Kane and Caroline Roberts

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Edited by Russell Sandberg, Norman Doe, Bronach Kane and Caroline Roberts

Following 9/11, increased attention has been given to the place of religion in the public sphere. Across the world, Law and Religion has developed as a sub-discipline and scholars have grappled with the meaning and effect of legal texts upon religion. The questions they ask, however, cannot be answered by reference to Law alone therefore their work has increasingly drawn upon work from other disciplines. This Research Handbook assists by providing introductory but provocative essays from experts on a range of concepts, perspectives and theories from other disciplines, which can be used to further Law and Religion scholarship.