Law and Religion

Course Title: Law and Religion
Course Number: LAW 3980
Course Description:

In this course, we will explore the interface between law and religion, primarily within the Canadian legal system. We will approach law and religion as two cultural and historic processes and critically consider their relationship in a secular, democratic, rights-based state comprised of non-believers (the undecided and those who reject religion) and people of multiple faiths. From there, we will consider issues related to religion, the law, and public policy in Canada. This will include an exploration of the theoretical issues related to religion’s place within the public sphere, law’s attitude to religious belief and freedoms, the meaning of “secularism,” judicial activism on the part of religious groups, and the law’s treatment of religious difference and the principle of religious freedom in the context of competing rights in Canada through recent case rulings.

Assessment:

Paper: 70% (due Tuesday, 8 December 2020, 7pm)

Presentation: 15% (in-class presentation and circulation of questions in advance to class)

Attendance and Participation: 15% attendance (attendance is mandatory), in class participation and positive engagement (in-class demonstration of knowledge and reflection on assigned materials) and “story of the week”. (At the start of each class, 30 minutes will be taken to discuss news items of interest/related to current topics related to law and religion. 1-2 students will individually report on a “story of the week” at each class). A sign-up sheet for Story of the Week will be posted on UMLearn following the first class.

Course Materials:

Materials on Law and Religion (distributed through UMLearn)

Instructor:

Krista Boryskavich