Balancing Law and Belief: The Dichotomy of the Mortal and the Immortal

By Juliet Chevalier-Watts.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 26, 2016 $US5.00

This article begins by recognizing that many of the common law and statutory provisions regarding charity law take their meaning from social and economic contexts of their time and, as a consequence, critically considers the relevance of the ancient charitable legal concepts in modern day society from the jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand, England, and Wales. The author chose to concentrate on the charitable purpose of the advancement of religion to explore this issue. This examination illustrates that the courts from these jurisdictions do not shy away from considering the challenge of understanding the relevance of religion and charity in contemporary society. What is also illustrated is that while charity law finds its roots in ancient history, its concepts are equally as appropriate in contemporary society as they were in past times. Therefore, while at first sight, one may question the appropriateness of trying to apply ancient concepts today, the notion of charity is far from the ancient relic struggling to adapt to contemporary societal pressures. Rather, charity law, at least under the auspices of the advancement of religion, is just at home today as it was back in Roman, or even Elizabethan times.

Keywords: Religion, Charity, Law, Charitable Purpose, Contemporary Society

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 400.869KB)).

Juliet Chevalier-Watts

Associate Dean Research, Senior Lecturer, Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand