Surely none of the following essays addresses or explores these claims and questions in any deliberate way. Nonetheless, in these opening pages, it seems that Ahdar is seeking to re-engage the questions that characterized the Western tradition from which our modern issues in law and religion descend, but which that tradition in its modern form has by now largely suppressed. The implication, it seems, is that in order to address the issues of the interaction of law and religion in an efficacious way, we must not only acknowledge that religion is a social phenomenon--although it is that, as Professor van Bijsterveld suggests--or that it has a symbolic dimension--as Professor Cooper recognizes. Beyond these adjustments, we would probably need to move beyond talking about "religion" as a reified or discrete phenomenon to be inspected, discussed, and dealt with, and again engage the more ultimate claims that "religion" has typically encompassed.
Steven D. Smith, reviewer,
35 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vjtl/vol35/iss1/7