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Type: Book chapter
Title: Law's sacred and secular subjects
Author: Naffine, N.
Citation: Law and Religion in Theoretical and Historical Context, 2008 / Cane, P., Evans, C., Robinson, Z. (ed./s), pp.268-290
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publisher Place: USA
Issue Date: 2008
ISBN: 9780521425902
Editor: Cane, P.
Evans, C.
Robinson, Z.
Statement of
Ngaire Naffine
Abstract: In modern law we exist as a plurality of persons. This is essentially my thesis, starkly put: that we are plural not unitary beings in law and that necessarily our law is, in this sense, pluralistic. Each one of us inhabits our legal world as multiple beings, as multiple subjects, as it could be said we do in life. The legal world that forms the focus of this paper is that of modern centralised Anglo-American-Australasian state law. Adopting the usage of Peter Cane, I will call this ‘Anglian’ law and thus refer to ‘legal systems the conceptual structure of which is derived from that of English law’. It is within this formal legal arena – its doctrines, its principles, its interpretations – that I wish to examine our plurality of being. We exist, of course, as all sorts of persons outside this formal state-institutionalised law. In the many extra-legal roles we perform (within the family, at work, socially and so on) and in the various cultures we inhabit (be they religious or sexed or sexual or indigenous or whatever), our very persons may be said to transmogrify or multiply. And indeed our extra-legal lives may assume such practical and symbolic importance that our legal personalities may seem to pale in comparison. Some might even say that these other ways by which we order, regulate and make sense of our lives represent rival laws or even rival legal systems.
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511493843.012
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
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