God's Kingdom in The Law's Republic: religious freedom in South African constitutional jurisprudence


  • Irma J Kroeze University of South Africa




Freedom is central to most constitutions.  In the constitutional context, freedom usually means both personal freedom and political freedom.  Personal freedom can be described as the right to decide for oneself the terms of one's life, both individually and communally.  It is what Frank Michelman calls self-rule: it "demands the people's determination for themselves of the norms that are to govern their social life".3  Political freedom, on the other hand, implies the protection against arbitrary government power.  This is what Michelman calls law-rule.  In most constitutional dispensations both these types of freedom are implicated and the South African constitution is no exception.4  But, it is ironic that in most constitutional democracies these two types of freedom are also frequently in conflict with one another.  In fact, it is not far-fetched to suggest that they are conceptually contradictory.


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How to Cite

Kroeze, I. J. (2017). God’s Kingdom in The Law’s Republic: religious freedom in South African constitutional jurisprudence. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 6(2), 96–119. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2003/v6i2a2869



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