Governing the sacred: A critical typology of models of political toleration in contested sacred sites

Yuval Jobani, Nahshon Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contested sacred sites pose an overlooked challenge for theorists of political toleration. Holy sites are often at the center of contestation between different groups regarding ownership, access, usage rights, permissible religious conduct. Two questions are posed, first, how to conceptualize 'contested sacred sites'? Second, what are the historical-political arrangements used to govern such contested sacred sites, that can be adopted by democratic countries? This article, first, suggests a conceptualization of contested sacred sites as 'thick sites' a la Geertz. Second, describes and analyzes five models of governing contested sacred sites: 'non-interference', 'separation and division', 'preference', 'status-quo', and 'closure'. Each model is grounded in historical-political examples and relies on different normative considerations. The goal is to present a new typology of governing methods that can be adopted by democratic governments in their attempt to secure public order and mutual toleration among opposed groups in contested sacred sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-273
Number of pages24
JournalOxford Journal of Law and Religion
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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