Tuesday, April 28, 2009

May 2009 issue of Ecclesiastical Law Journal...

...is out. Following are the research articles and their abstracts:


‘Transformative Accommodation’ and Religious Law
Bernard Jackson, pp 131-153
This paper examines the concept of ‘transformative accommodation’, which the Archbishop of Canterbury invoked in his February 2008 lecture on ‘Civil and religious law in England’, stressing the need for both the state and religious communities to contemplate internal change. Although he made no substantive proposals on jurisdictional issues, this proved the focus of subsequent public comment. I suggest that jurisdictional issues cannot be avoided, despite the diplomatic interest in doing so, as may be seen from a reading of the January 2008 European Islamic ‘Charter of Values’. Missing from the debate thus far is consideration of the (necessarily theological) criteria for accommodation within religious communities. I seek to provide a preliminary discussion of such criteria from the viewpoint of Jewish law. First, an outline of some published research on religious marriage in Judaism and Christianity is provided as a case study. I then sketch the jurisdictional situation in the modern State of Israel, before considering the possibilities for transformative accommodation in English law, in the light of the preceding analysis. A brief conclusion indicates some questions that the analysis might pose for Christianity.


More Turbulence? Clerical Misconduct under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003
Rupert Bursell, pp 154-168
Details of complaints under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 are beginning to come into the public domain. In particular, they raise questions as to the appropriate penalties to be imposed on a respondent, although even more worrying may be the anecdotal misunderstanding among some of the clergy about the moral behaviour expected of them. In addition, procedural questions remain that are not addressed in the written determinations. Such questions include the proper interest in making, and the motive behind, a complaint; the admissibility of hearsay evidence to support a complaint; and episcopal intervention and the bishop's role in reaching his decision.



Engaging with the State for the Common Good: Some Reflections on the Role of the Church
Peter Smith, pp 169-180
The Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church establishes the right of the Church to proclaim the Gospel and expound it, and to proclaim moral principles especially when this is required by fundamental rights or ‘for the salvation of souls’ (Canon 747). While this was taken for granted for centuries, society and culture have undergone rapid and extensive changes, especially over the last forty years. From what was once a Christian society and culture, we have moved to a multicultural and secular society, and have seen the rise of ‘ideological secularism’. The place of religion and religious values in the public forum is being questioned, and an aggressive secularism seeks to reduce religion and its practice to the private sphere. However, a healthy secularity should recognise both the autonomy of the state from control by the Church and also the right of the Church to proclaim its teaching and comment on social issues for the common good of humanity. This right is recognised in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. From the Church's point of view, this right was recognised for all religions in the Second Vatican Council's ‘Declaration on Religious Liberty’. We must defend that right because the Church exists not for its own sake but for the sake of humanity.


Religious Symbols in Spain: A Legal Perspective
Santiago Cañamares Arribas, pp 181-193
In Spain, immigration has been one of the main reasons for a significant number of conflicts regarding the use of religious symbols. In this context, the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Spanish Constitution are expected to play a very important role as a criterion to solve these tensions. However, a more accurate response is provided by case law, where the variety of circumstances that surround each conflictual situation can be taken into account to reach the best solution.

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