Social Justice Research

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 253–282 | Cite as

From Status Politics to Technocratic Pluralism: Toleration of Religious Minorities in Canada

  • Pauline Côté


This paper examines patterns of public regulation as they may emerge throughout the West from controversies constructed around new and minority religions. Following Beckford's and Richardson's insights about the sociological exemplarity of these issues, we argue that evidence for some of these trends as well as clues for interpretation can be found in contemporary Canadian constitutional development that parallels and at times precedes that of Europe. Close examination of notions of society and religion found in more than 35 religion cases brought before the Canadian Supreme Court from 1951 to 1997 lead to the conclusion that beside governmental and parliamentary intervention, legal management of religious pluralism is assuming a decisively normative turn. Notions such as status politics, civic ethos, and technocratic pluralism are offered as an explanation of this trend.

status politics pluralism technocratic pluralism church and state minority religions constitution Canada Jehovah's Witnesses civic ethos 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauline Côté
    • 1
  1. 1.Laval UniversityQuebecCanada

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