Doing the Lord’s Work or Taking His Name in Vain

Religion and Charity—a New Zealand Perspective


  • Juliet Chevalier-Watts University of Waikato



Law, Charity Law, Charity, Religion, Public Benefit


This article considers the relationship between the law, charity and religion, and specifically, the charitable doctrines of the advancement of religion and public benefit. In doing so, it addresses a number of matters, including controversy and morality, from the perspective of some key religious charity law cases. The discussions consider whether or not the Lord’s name may be taken in vain through the works of these charities, and thus require legal reform, or whether charity law is indeed doing the Lord’s work within the constructs of charity law such that the law remains fit for purpose.

Author Biography

Juliet Chevalier-Watts, University of Waikato

Dr Juliet Chevalier-Watts is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Te Piringa—Faculty of Law, University of Waikato, New Zealand. She is Associate Director of the Waikato Public Law and Policy Research Unit, and former Associate Dean Research.


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How to Cite

Chevalier-Watts, J. (2023). Doing the Lord’s Work or Taking His Name in Vain: Religion and Charity—a New Zealand Perspective. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 36(1), 99–117.