Secularization, legal pluralism, and the question of relationship-recognition regimes
Faculty of Law
European legacy: toward new paradigms. - Cambridge
, p. 151-165
University of Antwerp
In this article I contend that the re-emergence of religion in Western liberal states is a feature of a much broader phenomenon, namely, the re-establishment of legal pluralism whereby various social actors claim to be the legitimate producers of their own law. To prove this, I first offer an account of secularization as the successful attempt of modern states to dismantle a legal-pluralist system. Based on this, I argue that the reviviscence of religions is the reviviscence of their practical side: religious practices tend to be perceived by religious group members as providing guidance for conduct, one that challenges the rules of the state legal order and its monistic structure. Finally, by exploring the issue of same-sex union recognition, I defend the claim that, in a truly post-secular society, the state should allow a multiplicity of relationship-recognition models that reflect and meet different interests and needs.