Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

Journal of Law and Religion


The moral force and capacity for inspiration of both religion and politics alike arise in part from the sense that they authentically map the world as we nd it, yielding claims about how it should be. This paper asks what role we might imagine for law in this “hyperreal” world of religion and politics, arguing that law can display distinctive virtues linked to its capacity for strategic agnosticism about the real. Applying Sunstein’s idea of “incompletely theorized agreements” to the politics of religious freedom, the paper examines the role of law as a tool of adhesion in two very different constitutional settings—Canada and Israel—and argues for modesty as a functional virtue in law and legal process. Viewed in this way, law draws its worth from its tolerance for ambiguity, its sub-theoretical nature, and its pragmatic proceduralism, seeking to sustain political community in the presence of normative diversity, rather than speaking truth to difference.


This article has been published in a revised form in the Journal of Law and Religion: This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.