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Reasons of IdentityA Normative Guide to the Political and Legal Assessment of Identity Claims$
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Avigail Eisenberg

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291304

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291304.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Religious Identity and the Problem of Authenticity

Religious Identity and the Problem of Authenticity

(p.91) 5 Religious Identity and the Problem of Authenticity
Reasons of Identity

Avigail Eisenberg

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the problem of authenticity in relation to cases about freedom of religion. The challenge of authenticity suggests that it is impossible to distinguish reliably between identity claims which are ‘authentic’ for the people who make them and those which are made fraudulently in order to garner particular entitlements. Courts in Canada and the United States try to meet this challenge in relation to claims made by religious minorities either by refusing to assess all such claims or by establishing authenticity on the basis of individual sincerity of belief. In relation to two cases, one about the illegal use of peyote by a religious group and the other about the rights of Jews to erect succahs on their balconies, the chapter explains why a more direct, open, and structured consideration of identity claims provides a fairer basis upon which to assess religious identity claims and to negotiate the challenge of authenticity.

Keywords:   freedom of religion, authenticity, sincerity, fraud, religious minorities, peyotism, Jews

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