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Abstract : The Indian and the Nepalese Constitutions posit a separation between a secular domain regulated by the state and a religious domain in which it must not interfere. However, defining the difference between the two has proved difficult. Moreover, the state is directly and increasingly involved in various ways in the direct administration of many religious institutions. Given that the legal status of Hindu idols is recognized, deities may sue or be sued; and the courts are frequently asked to decide on various rights linked to religious functions and bodies. Such decisions often have a far-reaching impact on rituals and on religious specialists, and contribute to (re)defining religious categories and practices. Indeed, it is our view that the courts' apparently ‘technical’, legalistic action actually shapes the place religion occupies in Indian and Nepalese society, perhaps even more so than the ideology of any political party.
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Daniela Berti, Gilles Tarabout, Raphaël Voix. Introduction. Daniela Berti; Gilles Tarabout; Raphaël Voix. Filing Religion. State, Hinduism, and Courts of Law, Oxford University Press, pp.xv-xlvi, 2016, 9780199463794. ⟨10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463794.001.0001⟩. ⟨hal-01366229⟩

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