April 30, 2011

Faith, Beliefs, the "New Atheists" and Law

Iain T. Benson, University of the Free State, Faculty of Law, South Africa, and Miller, Thomson, has published Unexamined Faiths and the Public Place of Religion: Emerging Insights from the Law, at Acta Theologica 2011 Suppl: 14: 1-19.  Here is the abstract.

The article examines certain key terms, such as “beliefs” and “faith” and how these are understood in relation to the public sphere. It examines some writings of recent popularist authors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and is critical of the authors’ claims that they do not have faith or beliefs. Drawing on legal decisions in Canada and South Africa the article suggests that this sort of terminological looseness has legal and political implications when it comes to whether or not beliefs of all sorts (religious and non-religious) are treated fairly in the public sphere.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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