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Document Details :
Title: South Africa.
Subtitle: Freedom of Religion and Religious Education in a Pluralistic Society
Author(s): COERTZEN, P.
Journal: European Journal for Church and State Research - Revue européenne des relations Églises-État
Volume: 8 Date: 2001
Freedom of religion is a very important part of the new Constitution of South Africa. Up until its new Constitution, Act 108 of 1996 South African laws have never had a direct article guaranteeing freedom of religion. Now freedom of religion is guaranteed in article 15 of the said Constitution. The content of what this freedom of religion implies for South Africans still to a large extent, has to be developed. For this development different religions, religious groups, church denominations and the state have to co-operate. Religious freedom reaches very deep into the fibre of a people and its deepest convictions. Its consequences for many fields of life and, for instance, for churches has to be worked out. How does freedom of religion affect the position in law of a church, its labour relations, its deeds of mercy and its calling to religious education? On all of these issues, and many more, clarity is needed. For this clarity churches can make use of their own traditions, they can look at the way these matters are handled in other countries, they can go into dialogue with other religious groups and denominations and they should also go into discussion with the lawmakers of the country to see whether consensus can be found in the filling in of freedom of religion. This presentation is an attempt to co-operation, to see if we can determine the meaning of freedom of religion with regard to religious education in a pluralistic society such as South Africa is.