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Law and religion: a comparative approach to the treatment of religious intolerance in Brazil and Canada

Grant number: 19/16200-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 20, 2020
Effective date (End): March 07, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Urban Anthropology
Principal researcher:Paula Montero
Grantee:Camila Silva Nicacio
Supervisor abroad: Lori G. Beaman
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:18/18140-7 - Religious intolerance in the State of Minas Gerais: analysis of inquiries with the Civil Police, BP.PD


The question of religious intolerance, despite its antiquity, poses new challenges today, given the globalization, cultural diversity, speed of trade and the phenomenon of migration, forced or not. How can we ensure that we live together respectful of both religious freedom and cultural pluralism, including religious diversity? How can different cultures contribute to addressing violence related to religious intolerance? Several countries have already addressed these issues and their experiences need to be analyzed, aimed at exchange and articulation, in a world that has become inextricably linked. The Canadian experience, based in particular on the notion of reasonable accommodation, seems to be a demanding effort to reconcile diversity and unity. However, it is not free of criticism. One of these criticisms can be found in the work of Lori Beaman of the University of Ottawa. Consecrated, among other things, to the study of the role and place of law in the quest for equality, this researcher points out the limits of reasonable accommodation once it goes beyond its character as a legal technique of decision-making, transformed in public discourse, and in doing so, oversizes events, transforms everyone into a possible judge and strengthens the identity logic of an "us" versus an "them". Moreover, and as an alternative to this slippage, Beaman raises the question of whether interactions in everyday life do not contribute to the shaping of a broader concept of equality (deep equality) which goes beyond the only legal logic of regulation. Regarding the implementation of my postdoctoral research, already underway, this perspective provides a new angle through which to consider the claims based on religious intolerance and the way in which these requests are supported by the State. As I had already admitted in my initial project, through a bibliographical inventory, the law and its institutions are overloaded to counter violence linked to religious discrimination at the time of the judicialization of life and relations. Given the context, the question of the existence and relevance of other social technologies to deal with it deserves to be investigated. The comparative perspective seems to be imposing vis-à-vis very diverse and complex cultural contexts, such as the Brazilian and the Canadian. Thus, the internship research that I propose to carry out, under the direction of Lori Beaman and within the Chair in Religious Diversity and Social Change, has as its primary goal the accomplishment of an analysis that confronts these different realities.

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