Religious Liberty in Germany and the United States: A Comparison

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Titel: Religious Liberty in Germany and the United States: A Comparison
Autor(en): LeMieux, Matthew
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Albrecht Weber
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Oliver Dörr
Zusammenfassung: There is long held belief by many jurists and academics in the United States that religious liberty cannot be fully protected without a vigorous application of the Establishment Clause. To non-Americans, especially from countries whose Constitution does not expressly contain a similar non-establishment clause, this idea that religious freedom cannot be fully protected without express non-establishment principles in either a written constitution or the jurisprudence interpreting it might seem to be at best foreign and at worst condescending. The purpose of this work is to determine how a country without an express equivalent of the Establishment Clause in its constitution protects those religious liberty interests that are most associated by Americans with non-establishment principles. Germany provides an example opportunity for such a comparison as its constitution arguably has no equivalent to the Establishment Clause, and the vast majority of its jurists and academics have rejected the idea of strict separation between church and state. The comparison here will be conducted in three stages. The first stage seeks to explain that while the history of institutional church/state relations in the United States and Germany is without a doubt different, the same cannot necessarily be said for the historical foundations of the individual religious liberty doctrines that have developed in both countries. The second stage will provide an overview of these doctrines and show that despite some similarities in the role religion has historically played in both societies, the doctrines of these two countries have indeed developed in a manner that stresses different aspects of religious liberty. In this stage, it will also be shown that many of the purposes served by the Establishment Clause are also interests that German courts take into consideration when applying German individual religious liberty doctrine. In the final stage, it will be shown that courts in both jurisdictions use non-establishment principles as a means of placing limits on actions taken by the government regarding religion, but these limits operate within two entirely different individual religious liberty schemes, and as such, the impact of these non-establishment principles varies. In this stage it will also be shown that while there is some transatlantic convergence taking place in specific areas of the individual religious liberty doctrines, these convergences will likely never be absolute because of the different religious doctrines into which courts in each country have incorporated non-establishment principles.
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2016110815127
Schlagworte: Religionsfreiheit; Religious Freedom; Religious Liberty
Erscheinungsdatum: 8-Nov-2016
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB10 - E-Dissertationen

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