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Religion And The state: The letter of the law and the negotiation of boundaries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter draws a Canadian example as a case study, through which the notion of the ‘global’ is examined. It explores the notion of women’s agency and its links to global context through a Supreme Court of Canada decision. State establishment of rules regarding religious groups and the degree to which religious freedom is supported are integrally bound with ideas about agency, harm, nation preservation and the dangerous other. The chapter uses the example of polygamy as an entry point into the issue of the state, religion, and globalization to make the argument that the local is implicated in the global, and vice versa. The very definition of religion is affected by global flows and that the ways in which we define or think about what constitutes religion is implicated in the ways that states respond to groups and individuals who engage in particular practices as part of their faith.

Keywords: Canada; globalization; religious freedom; Supreme Court



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