Verschuivende verhoudingen: Religieuze systemen in plurale contexten

Translated title of the contribution: Shifting religious relations: Religious systems in plural contexts

Marcel Poorthuis, Pim Valkenberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    In this final contribution we start with a discussion of religious systems of law in a context that differs from the North West European context that has been the main point of focus in the other contributions: The United States of America where religion is still an important element in public discourse. We discuss the importance of the first amendment of the American constitution that includes both freedom from religious establishment and freedom of religious practices. The emergence of religious court systems in Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities can be seen as a way in which religious people decide to engage in arbitration with a religion-specific choice of law and choice of forum. In recent times, the specific position of Catholics in the United States is often discussed with reference to the appointment of judges in the higher courts, or to different forms of pro-life activism. The recent emergence of debates about the Mortara case in which Pope Pius IX refused to give back parental authority of a baptized Jewish child to his parents has rekindled several aspects of the tension between Catholic sacramental theology and principles of natural law concerning parental authority. Fifty years after the declaration Nostra aetate it is clear that the religious landscape is shifting and that Christians no longer hold the central place in interreligious relationships. Paying attention to new relationships between Jews and Muslims, and Jews and Hindus is one of the forms in which Catholic theology can become better aware of its own place in an age of decolonization.
    Translated title of the contributionShifting religious relations: Religious systems in plural contexts
    Original languageDutch
    Article number5
    Pages (from-to)76-85
    Number of pages10
    JournalTijdschrift voor Theologie
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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