The Weekly Five

This week’s list offers articles on religion and the war on terror and the relationship between secular and religious authority. We then feature three pieces from the handsomely reconstituted Journal of Law and Religion.

1. Malick W. Ghachem (MIT; Maine Law School), Religious Liberty and the Financial War on Terror: Professor Ghachem focuses particularly on the way in which the religious freedom of Muslim Americans has been affected by the war on terror, including the effect of cases such as Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project on Muslim American charities.

2. Benjamin Berger (Osgoode Hall Law School), Belonging to Law: Religious Difference, Secularism, and the Conditions of Civic Inclusion: Professor Berger argues that the idea of and appeal to secular law is a kind of “technique” or “repertoire of moves” that may be used to negotiate the relationship between civil and religious authority.

3. Luke Timothy Johnson (Emory, Theology), Happiness and the Restless Heart: An Augustinian Confession: Professor Johnson examines and reflects on the meaning of certain lines from Augustine for the “elusive yet all-important dimension of human life we call happiness–or, more often for Christians, joy.”

4. John Witte, Jr. & Christopher J. Manzer (Emory Law School), A Prequel to Law and Revolution: A Long Lost Manuscript of Harold J. Berman Comes to Light: Fascinating intellectual history in which Professor Witte and Mr. Manzer explore an early text by Professor Berman titled, “Law and Language,” which adumbrates several themes that later emerged and were developed in Berman’s masterwork, Law and Revolution. Berman had already mentioned his interest in reviving historical jurisprudence in the early volume.

5. M. Christian Green (Fellow at the Emory Center for the Study of Law and Religion), Between Blasphemy and Critique: Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech: A massive review of five books (by Amos Guiora, Paul Marshall & Nina Shea, Austin Dacey, Jeremy Waldron, and an edited volume on blasphemy and free speech) each of which treats the subject of defamation of religion and freedom of speech. The questions addressed in the review include: “Should speech that is critical of or hostile to religion or particular religions be banned if it offends religious feelings? What if the speech rises to the level of incitement to hatred or violence? Absent confirmed correlation of incitement to actual violence and its effects, how can we describe the harm that speech about religion can inflict? Can the boundaries of acceptable speech about religion be defined broadly enough to include legitimate critique of religion, and if so, who determines the parameters of acceptability? Or, as the title question of one recent book put it, Is critique secular?”— such that there is an inherent and inevitable conflict between freedom of religion and the possibility of its critique?”

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