Fall/Winter Timetable


Undergraduate Course Code: LAW321H1F

Religion and the Liberal State: The Case of Islam


This seminar will address, as a theoretical matter, the relationship of religion to a liberal state, with particular attention to the writings of John Rawls as set forth in Political Liberalism and leading “religion” cases law from Canada, the United States and the European Court of Human Rights that address the relationship of religion and a liberal constitutional order. The course will also provide an introduction into classical and modern Islamic thought on the state and its relationship to religion. We will, simultaneously with our theoretical readings, attempt to apply these themes in the particular case of Islam within a liberal constitutional order. No prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic law is required.

Format and Requirements

Students are required to write 750 word (3 page) weekly papers based on assigned readings for a total of 7,500 words (10 papers) representing 90% of the final grade. Papers are to be submitted in advance of the class meeting in an electronic format. The remaining 10% will be awarded based on class participation. In addition the instructor will designate two or more students (depending on the enrolment) each week who will be responsible for leading class discussion on that week’s readings. Students who wish to write a SUYRP will be required to submit the first three papers (ungraded) and a 7,500 to 8,750 word (30-35 pages) paper due on the final day for written work in the relevant term.
Students may satisfy the Perspective requirement and a maximum of five students may request to write a Supervised Upper Year Research Paper in this course.