The Interface Between Law and Religion in Canada

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Religion, Faith, Law, Canada, Freedom of Conscience


The books Fighting over God by Janet Epp Buckingham, Freedom of Conscience and Religion by Richard Moon, and Free to Believe: Rethinking Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada by Mary Jane Waldron each make a significant contribution to the literature on the interface between law and religion in Canada. Taken together, they offer a wide-ranging overview, and trenchant analysis, of the way in which Cana- dian law protects and restricts belief-based practices. Each of these books would be accessible to a reader new to the area, not because the approaches are simplistic but because of clear writing style, intelligent organization, and the deft weaving together of various strands of analysis. At the same time, each offers insights and challenges for those of us who have been working in the field for some time. I was delighted to be nudged on occasion to rethink deeply familiar cases. It was also fascinating to see how different thematic approaches led to different emphasis or different groupings of specific topics.