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Religious Freedom in the Liberal State$
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Rex Ahdar and Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606474.001.0001

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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: 21 January 2022

Families, Parents and Children

Families, Parents and Children

(p.200) (p.201) 7Families, Parents and Children
Religious Freedom in the Liberal State

Rex Ahdar

Ian Leigh

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines religious freedom issues that concern the family and parents. There can be no doubt that religiously devout parents are vitally interested in the successful transmission of their faith to their offspring. This is one of the prime incidents of religious liberty. One US judge ventured that ‘no aspect of religious freedom is more treasured than the right of parents to teach children to worship God’. The chapter is organized as follows. Section II outlines the current law governing family autonomy and the religious upbringing of children. Section III contrasts liberal and religious conceptions of the family and childrearing. Section IV explores three controversial topics. First, does a maturing child have an independent right of religious liberty? If not, should she? Second, what is the scope of religious childrearing in the fractured family? Do divorced or separated parents have attenuated rights compared to those parents who are still together? Third, do devout parents have any special religious claim to administer corporal punishment to their children amidst the growing international call for the abolition of the parental right of reasonable chastisement?

Keywords:   religious freedom, family autonomy, religious upbringing, best interests, custody, parental rights, children's rights, corporal punishment, childrearing, religious liberty

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