Can God and Caesar Coexist?

Balancing Religious Freedom and International Law

Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

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November 11, 2005
272 pages, 5 x 8
ISBN: 9780300111156
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

Father Robert F. Drinan—priest, scholar, lawyer, politician, activist, and ethicist—has spent his life working to strengthen human rights. In this important book, Father Drinan explores the state of religious freedom worldwide, arguing that international law and legal institutions have not gone far enough to protect religious freedom. The international community, says Father Drinan, has been slow to recognize the urgent need of balancing the requirements of a pluralistic society with the demands of religious freedom.

Despite numerous proclamations from the United Nations and from individual nations about the importance of religious freedom, says Father Drinan, there is still no covenant, legally binding instrument, or world tribunal to monitor freedom of religion. Drinan explores the status of religious freedom in certain Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Communist societies whose doctrines may promote intolerance. And he asserts that the silence of international law allows nations to continue to punish persons who practice a faith viewed unfavorably by the government.

Robert F. Drinan, S.J., professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, has had a long and distinguished career. He has been a visiting professor at four American universities and dean of the Boston College Law School. He was a United States Congressman for five terms as a Representative from Massachusetts. He has served on public and privately sponsored delegations and human rights missions to many countries and has been a member of numerous committees devoted to the furtherance of human rights. Father Drinan has received numerous awards, the most recent being the 2003 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship medal. He is also the author of eleven previous books.

Drinan was also awarded the 2004 ABA Medal, the ABA medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service to the cause of American jurisprudence.

"In an amazing career that has spanned more than half a century, Father Drinan has never faltered in his extraordinary humanitarian efforts and support for justice under the law. He has demonstrated to lawyers what it means to be committed to public service and to countless law students what is embodied in the highest dedication to ethical, moral legal practice. By his standards of leadership, he contributes to the luster and dignity of our award," said Archer in announcing the selection.”—From the ABA Award presentation

“A unique and persuasive personal statement that effectively demonstrates that international law has never done very well protecting religious freedom. . . . Intelligent, humane, and perceptive.”—Mark W. Janis, University of Connecticut School of Law

“In a time when religion fuels again violence, intolerance and oppression in many parts of the world, Father Robert Drinan in his well researched and thoughtful book reminds us about the still deficient status of religious freedom in various countries. At the same time he encourages all those who struggle for religious freedom and dialogue among religions and civilizations to renew their commitment. His analytical capacity and intellectual courage are more than ever needed in today’s US society.”—Professor Hans Küng, President, Global Ethic Foundation, Tübingen, Germany 

"No one is better placed than Robert Drinan to tackle the intersection between religious freedom and the public world. In this book he does that incisively, making complex issues accessible and abstract problems personal. Religious freedom may constitute the greatest challenge of our age. In Father Drinan we have an astute guide at hand to lead us on our way."—William F. Schulz, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA

“Reflects the insights and doubts of experience, the convictions of a person conversant with practical politics and the candor of a man capable of speaking his own mind. . . . [An] unsparing analysis.”—John T. Noonan, New York Times Book Review

"Provocative."—Gregory A. Kalscheur, Theological Studies

Robert F. Drinan is the recipient of the 2003 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal. The honor was bestowed on Father Drinan to recognize his achievements that have ‘embodied the spirit of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Robert Drinan was awarded the 2004 ABA Medal, the ABA medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service to the cause of American jurisprudence; "In an amazing career that has spanned more than half a century, Father Drinan has never faltered in his extraordinary humanitarian efforts and support for justice under the law. He has demonstrated to lawyers what it means to be committed to public service and to countless law students what is embodied in the highest dedication to ethical, moral legal practice. By his standards of leadership, he contributes to the luster and dignity of our award," said Archer in announcing the selection.”—From the ABA Award presentation
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Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

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