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In this short essay, I suggest that "mysterizing" religion may change the stakes in some of the most controversial contemporary conflicts in law and religion. To mysterize (not a neologism, but an archaism) is to cultivate mystery about a subject, in the sense described above-to develop and press the view that a certain subject or phenom-enon is not merely unknown, but unknowable by human beings. At the very least, such mysteries are unknowable by those human beings who have charge of the secular legal order of earthly human affairs, Paul's "princes of this world." That is what I propose to do for religion in American law, and what may well alter the landscape of the conflicts between advocates of religious liberty and the forces opposing them. Fortunately, I have had some help. The mysterization of religion seems already to be well under way in American constitutional law. It is a central feature of the Supreme Court's current conception of religion. Religion's mysterization, therefore, may be as much an exercise in the description of portions of the law as it now is, as a prescriptive project about what that law should become.



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