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Domingo publishes book on God and the secular legal system
By | Emory Law | Feb 1, 2017 12:02:00 AM

Rafael Domingo, Spruill Family Research Professor of Law, has a new book, God and the Secular Legal System, published as part of the Cambridge Studies in Law and Christianity series, edited by John Witte, Jr.

Domingo’s goal is to present a coherent constitutional framework for the protection of rights to religion and freedom of conscience in this age of diversity, interdependence, and secularization. Domingo objects to both traditional religious and current liberal approaches to religious freedom.

“The traditional religious approach is inevitably exclusivist, while the liberal approach is inevitably reductionist,” he says.

Domingo offers a third path: a theistically oriented conception of the secular legal system that is able to embrace nontheistic approaches.

He writes: “Secular legal systems should treat God, religion, and conscience with respect. Respect demands not only positive feelings or deference toward these realities, but also specific actions that express and reflect that appreciation. Of the secular legal system, in the case of God, respect requires recognition; in the case of religion, toleration; and in the case of conscience, accommodation. And of citizens, in the case of God, respect requires free mention and invocation; in the case of religion, free exercise and practice; in the case of conscience, moral autonomy.”

Domingo arrived at Emory Law in 2013 from the University of Navarra School of Law in Spain, where he was a professor of law, and dean emeritus. His research in Roman Law early in his career prepared him to tackle larger issues of law and religion and the development of global law as a concept separate from international law. 

Learn more about Domingo