Religious freedom and religious establishment have come to mean many things to many people. This is, in part, because of the shifting contours of the definition of religion itself (as has been pointed out by others in this series, including Winnifred Fallers Sullivan and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd). But it is also because the nature of freedom is contested ground. The shifting nature of these two concepts makes normative assessment—religious freedom is good, religious freedom is bad—extremely difficult to carry out in any meaningful way. Further, when people advocate for or against religious freedom they are often talking about very different things. Similarly, the measurement of establishment is equally nebulous.Read the rest of Beyond establishment.
Lori G. Beaman
Lori G. Beaman is Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada and Full Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. Key publications include Defining Harm: Religious Freedom and the Limits of the Law (UBC Press, 2008), the co-edited, with Peter Beyer, Religion and Diversity in Canada (Leiden: Brill Academic Press, 2008), “Is Religious Freedom Impossible in Canada?,” Law, Culture, and the Humanities (2010), and “‘It was all slightly unreal’: What‟s Wrong with Tolerance and Accommodation in the Adjudication of Religious Freedom?,” Canadian Journal of Women and Law (2010).