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The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law

The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law

Edited by Barry W. Bussey

‘The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law’ is an apologetic for maintaining the presumption of public benefit for the charitable category ‘advancement of religion’ in democratic countries within the English common law tradition.

EPUB, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781785272684

February 2020

£25.00, $40.00

PDF, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781785272677

February 2020

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

‘The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law’ is an apologetic for maintaining the presumption of public benefit for the charitable category ‘advancement of religion’ in democratic countries within the English common law tradition. In response to growing academic and political pressure to reform charity law – including recurring calls to remove tax exemptions granted to religious charities – the scholars in this volume analyse the implications of legislative and legal developments in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the process, they also confront more fundamental, sociological or philosophical questions on the very nature and role of religion in a secular society that would deny any space for religious communities outside their houses of worship. In other words, this book is concerned with the place of religion – and religious institutions – in contemporary society. It represents a series of concerns about the proper role of the state in relation to the differing beliefs of citizens – some of which will quite rightly manifest in actions to benefit the wider society. This debate, then, naturally engages with broader issues related to secularism, civic engagement and liberal democratic freedoms. [NP] Historically, we have presumed that religion is beneficial. Any suggestion that would either remove the advancement of religion, or advocate the removal of other benefits granted to religious institutions (such as tax exempt status) is predicated on the contrary assumption that religion provides no benefit, or if it does, it only benefits congregants on a Sunday morning (or other holy day). Further, our cultural moment, with its attention to diversity and equality, has put the charitable status of religious communities in jeopardy unless they conform to the normative moral commitments of secular elites in academia, media and the legal profession. This exposes a deeply flawed notion of religion, as discussed in this book. Religion is both communal and holistic in scope; as the research canvassed in this volume reveals, spiritual faith and good works are so closely intertwined in the theology, practice and lives of most religious communities that recognizing religion as charitable speaks to the reality of religion’s ongoing, positive influence in society.

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Author Information

Barry W. Bussey is director, legal affairs, Canadian Council of Christian Charities, and associate adjunct professor of law, University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney).

Series

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I Concept and Practice of Public Benefit; 1. Have a Little Faith: The Advancement of Religion and Public Benefit, Juliet Chevalier-Watts; 2. Religion and Public Benefit: Social Scientific Perspectives and Critiques, Raymond B. Chiu; 3. The Public Benefit of ‘Advancing Religion’ as a Charitable Purpose, John Pellowe; Part II Advancement of Religion in the United Kingdom; 4. Religion and Public Benefit in United Kingdom Charity Law, Frank Cranmer; 5. Back at the Bar: Charity Law, Public Benefit and a Case of Legal ‘déjà vu’ for the Exclusive Brethren, Bernard Doherty; Part III Public Benefit and the Advancement of Religion in Canada; 6. Advancing Religion in a ‘Neutral’ State: Understanding Religion as a Constitutional Good, Derek Ross and Ian Sinke; 7. Making Registered Charitable Status of Religious Organizations Subject to ‘Charter Values’, Barry W. Bussey; 8. Just Check the Box: Why Religious Institutions Still Make Canada a Better Place to Live and Flourish, Janet Epp Buckingham; Part IV Conclusion; 9. The Goal of Excluding Religion from the Idea of Public Benefit: Some Aspects of Neo-Secularist Strategies, Iain T. Benson; Contributors; Index.

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