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Religious liberty, Commerce, European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, Religious proselytizing, Religious jurisprudence, Church of Scientology


Commercial Law | Comparative and Foreign Law | Courts | European Law | First Amendment | Religion Law


As this Symposium Article contends, religion increasingly overlaps with the commercial sphere, and courts are obligated to determine whether or not to adopt an entirely hands-off approach simply because the specter of religion lurks on the horizon. Whereas the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights tends to accept its member states' separation of commercial elements out from the protections more generally accorded to religion, the U.S. Supreme Court has treated the two spheres as overlapping. To the extent that each court does consider religious transactions in terms of commercial relations, each also arrives at a very different conception of the connection between religious institutions and the current or potential religious believer. While the ECHR seems more concerned with protecting others against the incursion of possibly misleading or offensive religious representations, the Supreme Court appears to view religious value as generated through a complex interaction between religious entities and individual adherents.


Article is part of Symposium issue, "The Supreme Court's Hands-Off Approach to Religious Doctrine."

Publication Citation

Notre Dame Law Review, vol. 84, no. 2 (January 2009).