Faith-based Non-Governmental Organizations in the Public Square

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter has both a methodological and a substantive aim. First, I suggest, using the role and function of NGOs in religiously related legal disputes as a paradigm example, the distinction between institutional, doctrinal, and theoretical approaches to the study of the relationship between religion and law is sometimes unhelpful, creating a barrier preventing us from understanding the phenomenon that we are examining. Instead, I suggest, a more integrated understanding, drawing on each of these approaches and seeing how they relate to each other, may well be more illuminating. The second aim of this chapter is to suggest, in a preliminary way, that the phenomenon of faith-based organizations should be more integrated than in the past into doctrinal and theoretical debates in the area of law and religion, in particular the problem of how liberal society is to engage with organized religion where there is a fundamental dispute as to who represents that religion, or as to what the basic tenets of that religion are.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Nature of Religious Rights under International Law
EditorsMalcolm Evans, Peter Petkoff, Julian Rivers
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-968422-9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2015


  • religion, public square, religious disputes, international organisations

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