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Mixed Blessings: Laws, Religions, and Women's Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region
     

Mixed Blessings: Laws, Religions, and Women's Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region

by Amanda Whiting (Editor), Carolyn Evans (Editor)
 

The essays in this volume explore some of the diverse and contradictory ways that the lives of women in the Asia-Pacific region are shaped by two powerful regimes - 'religion' and 'law' - and by the interactions between them. They show that for women, laws - customary, colonial, post-independence and international - and religions - indigenous or introduced,

Overview

The essays in this volume explore some of the diverse and contradictory ways that the lives of women in the Asia-Pacific region are shaped by two powerful regimes - 'religion' and 'law' - and by the interactions between them. They show that for women, laws - customary, colonial, post-independence and international - and religions - indigenous or introduced, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Confucianism - have been a 'mixed blessing'. These diverse legal systems and religious doctrines and institutions have variously denied women authority and the capacity to participate fully in the public organization of social, political and religious life; they have furthermore constructed gender and familial relations in ways that subordinate women. Yet they have also offered promises of women's empowerment, and provided rules and procedures, norms, values, and interpretations of sacred traditions to deliver those empancipatory promises. Each chapter is devoted to a single state; first, the history and current framework of the national legal system is introduced; then the place of religion in the state is explained; and finally, by means of precise and detailed case studies or examples, each author explores how these sometimes competing, sometimes colluding regimes constructed women and how women interpreted this positioning and sought to resituate themselves.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“… in the rising field of law and religion, the collection is a significant, well-crafted and absorbing contribution. For the Asia-Pacific, this book deepens the work in the field – precisely because of its nuanced and scholarly ambivalence towards both the life of the law and the life of the spirit.”
Reid Mortensen, Law Asia Journal, 2006 (pp. 263-267).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789004151413
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
05/29/2006
Series:
Studies in Religion, Secular Beliefs and Human Rights Series , #1
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Evans is Deputy Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, in the Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Australia. She has undergraduate degrees in Arts and Law from that university and a doctorate in law from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She has taught at both Oxford and Melbourne. She is the author of Freedom of Religion under the European Convention on Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2001) and the co-editor of Religion and International Law (Martinus Nijhoff, 1999). She has published articles and chapters in the areas of religious freedom and general international law. Her current research interests are in the areas of the intersection of religion and law (including issues of religious freedom) and the role of legislatures in the protection of human rights. She has given presentations on religious freedom issues in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Peoples’ Republic of China and Russia.
Amanda Whiting is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Melbourne and Associate Director, Malaysia, Asian Law Centre, also at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has taught both history and law at that University. She is Co-editor of the Australian Journal of Asian Law and author of Situating Suhakam: Human Rights Debates and Malaysia’s National Human Rights Commission,Stanford Journal of International Law, 39 no.1 (2003): 59-98 and Some Women can shift it well enough: a legal context for understanding the women petitioners of the seventeenth-century English Revolution,; Australian Feminist Law Journal 21 (December) 2004: 77–100. Her current research interests include women and Islam in Southeast Asia; national and regional human rights institutions, values and practices in Southeast Asia; indigenous land claims in Malaysia; and the use of defamation to stifle public debate in Southeast Asia.

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