Preface to the first edition

AuthorM.H. Ogilvie
To the First Edition
I believe this to be the only book of its kind in Canada: the f‌irst compre-
hensive legal textbook on the law relating to religious institutions. My
own awareness of the ex istence of a substantial body of law relating to re-
ligion and to religious inst itutions dates from 1980 when I wondered what
it was I was supposed to do, when I was elected a tru stee of the Christ ian
congregation to which I then belonged. A born legal pedant, I t urned to
the law reports to lear n something about how religious institutions in
Canada are regulated. A compulsive legal scribbler, I ended by writing a
guidebook for the use of future trustees within t hat congregation.
Since then, interactions between law and religion within Canadian
society have accelerated for a variety of reason s, of which the coming
into force of the Charter in 1982, and the increasing litigiousness w ithin
religious communities, are but two of the more important. A wide var-
iety of both public and private law issues h ave been re-opened for debate
by courts, legislature s, and religious institutions, themselves, as a result.
These issues go to the fundamental purpose s of human life and of life in
society, particularly Canadian society, and show no signs of abating in
the foreseeable future. When I began in 1989, what I believe to be the
f‌irst course in a Canad ian university law progr amme on the subject, I
was surprised to f‌ind it to be fully subscr ibed, as it continues to be.
Perhaps foolishly, I have written this book with t wo potential audi-
ences in mind, law yers who are asked to act in matters relating to reli-
gion, and church administ rators who are increasingly bumping into t he
common law while carr ying out their duties. Hav ing been consulted by

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