This month, McGill Queens University Press will publish Fighting Over God: A Legal and Political History of Religious Freedom in Canada by Janet Epp Buckingham (Trinity Western University). The publisher’s description follows.
From before Confederation to the present day, religion has been one of the most contentious issues in Canadian public life. In Fighting over God, Janet Buckingham surveys a vast array of religious conflicts, exploring both their political aspects and the court cases that were part of their resolution.
While topics such as the Manitoba Schools Crisis and debates about Sunday shopping are familiar territory, Buckingham focuses on lesser-known conflicts such as those over the education of Doukhobor and Mennonite children and the banning of the Jehovah’s Witness religion under the Defence of Canada Regulations during the Second World War. Subjects are explored thematically with chapters on the history of religious broadcasting, education, freedom of expression, religious practices, marriage and family, and religious institutions.
Contentious issues about religious accommodation are not going away. Fighting over God cites over six hundred legal cases, across nearly four centuries, to provide a rich context for the ongoing social debate about the place of religion in our increasingly secular society.