Emory International Law Review


The premise of this introductory Essay is that it is not possible to have a religiously valid (or customary) outcome from any coercive adjudication by the courts of the state. In other words, whatever the state and its courts and other institutions do is inherently secular, and cannot be religious. If that is the case, then believers who are keen to live by their religious norms should avoid state enforcement, rather than seek it. To make this argument, Part I of this Essay outlines the premise and core idea of an approach to the mediation of such competing demands. Part II attempts to frame the issues in terms of normative, not legal, pluralism and explain why that characterization could be helpful for mediation of disputes.