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After Secular Law$
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Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775366

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775366.001.0001

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Secular Law and the Realm of False Religion

Secular Law and the Realm of False Religion

(p.43) Chapter Two Secular Law and the Realm of False Religion
After Secular Law

Jakob De Roover

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how secular law is drawn into defining religion. It argues that in making such determinations, secular authorities are bound to smuggle in one particular theological conception of religion. It examines the dynamic expansion of Western Christianity and the creation of a secular legal system in India. The Christian opposition of true religion to false religion or “idolatry,” as well as of both kinds of religion to a third category of matters “indifferent” to religion, enabled the European accommodation between religion and the secular. The discussion argues that the realm of false religion has not really disappeared, but remains embedded implicitly in the practice of secular law.

Keywords:   defining religion, Western Christianity, secular legal system, Indian secularism, false religion

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