3 J.L. Religion & St. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/jlrs3 and id is 1 raw text is: JOURNAL OF LAW, RELIGION AND STATE 3 (2014) 1-24
BRILL                                                               4
NIJHOFF                                                              brili.com/jIrs
Deconstructing the Religious Free Market
Jianlin Chen
Assistant Law Professor, University of Hong Kong
jianlin@hku.hk
Abstract
Scholars have frequently alluded to the normative value of the religious free market
fostered by the twin legal guarantees of the free exercise of religion and the absence of
state establishment of religion. But given that the desirable normative interpretations
of these two clauses differ widely, the nature of the resulting market is inevitably
dependent on one's choice of these contested interpretations. Similarly, the entitle-
ment to free competition depends on the definition of religion. The present article
deconstructs the religious free market into its legal components and discusses criti-
cally how the different interpretations and combinations of these legal components
materially affect the resulting religious market.
Keywords
religious free market - establishment clause - free exercise
I       Introduction
Commonly associated with the American church-state model,1 a religious free
market aims to foster a socio-legal environment where different religions freely
* The author is grateful to Tom Ginsburg for his insightful critiques and comments, and
Loveday Liu for her excellent research assistance. This research is generously supported by
University of Hong Kong's Seed Funding Programme. All errors are mine alone.
1 Larry Witham, Marketplace of the Gods: How Economics Explains Religion (Oxford University
Press 2010), 119; Christopher L. Eisgruber, Secularization, Religiosity, and the United States
Constitution 13 IndianaJGlobalL Study (2oo6), 445, 464-468; Paul Harvey, Proselytization
in Philip Goff & Paul Harvey (eds), Religion and American Culture (University of North

( KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2014 1 DOI 10.1163/22124810-00301001

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