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Cambridge University Press
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April 2013
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Book description

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams triggered a storm of protest when he suggested that some accommodation between British law and Islam's shari'a law was 'inevitable'. His foundational lecture introduced a series of public discussions on Islam and English Law at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Temple Church in London. This volume combines developed versions of these discussions with new contributions. Theologians, lawyers and sociologists look back on developments since the Archbishop spoke and forwards along trajectories opened by the historic lecture. The contributors provide and advocate a forward-looking dialogue, asking how the rights of all citizens are honoured and their responsibilities met. Twenty specialists explore the evolution of English law, the implications of Islam, shari'a and jihad and the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, family law and freedom of speech. This book is for anyone interested in the interaction between religion and secular society.


'The contributions collected in [this book] testify [to] the extent and the complexity of the matter.'

Source: The Bookseller

'… casts light on urgent global issues and forces readers to confront stereotypes about sharia.'

Caroline Binham Source: Financial Times

'[Rowan Williams' February 2008 lecture, 'Civil and Religious Law in England'] formed part of a series marking the 400th anniversary of the entrusting of the Temple Church (established hundreds of years earlier by the Knights Templar) to the care of the Middle and Inner Temple; and so the interplay between religion and law in general, and of Islam and English law in particular, was a fitting focus. This extremely valuable collection of essays is based on that lecture series, and also includes other 'conversations' between authors on other issues, including responses to the publication of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, and the cartoons in the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten, and contemporary understandings of jihad.'

Malcolm D. Evans Source: Church Times

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