"This rich collection brings together scholars from different fields to dispel simplistic ideas about religious freedom. Through numerous case studies exploring complex and changeable meanings of the term in different parts of the world, the authors show that religious freedom is not the universal standard of democracy its proponents intend for it to be. At the same time, the contributors reach beyond their main topic to demonstrate the importance, and even necessity, of interdisciplinary work. Thus in dispelling simplistic ideas about a supposedly universal norm, this fine book announces a new era of academic collaboration."
(Amanda Porterfield, Florida State University, author of Conceived in Doubt)
"The principle of religious freedom, central to the liberal politics of the modern world, is increasingly becoming an object of critical reflection. This collection, edited by four distinguished scholars, is a welcome contribution to this important topic. I have learnt something from each of these thoughtful essays. Everyone interested in recent debates on secularism will benefit from reading them."
(Talal Asad, Graduate Center, City University of New York)
"This extraordinary volume brings together the leading scholars of the idea and practice of 'religious freedom' today, in conversation with each other and with their critics. Beyond any simple for/against dichotomy, the contributors show how the admirable resonance of 'religious freedom' masks a more troubling reality, both at the historical origins of the concept and in its contemporary strategic deployments. Among the book’s many contributions is its sustained and careful examination of the mutual entanglement of 'religion,' in its modern semantic range, and law, and the implication of both in national and global politics, from early modernity forward. The Politics of Religious Freedom is a definitive collection of the best critical work on the subject."
(Robert Orsi, Northwestern University)
“The contributors repeatedly make the point [that], rather than a single, stable principle of universal application, religious freedom is polyvalent and reflects the historical conditions of its composition. . . . Highly recommended.”
“A book which is deeply satisfying both for quality of writing and for quality of scholarship, one which I look forward to using extensively in my work and in the construction of syllabi."
(Jessica L. Radin, University of Toronto Middle East Law and Governance
"Taken individually, these essays are erudite, consistently interesting, and well written. Taken collectively, they are a tour de force for deepening our knowledge and understanding of a concept many or most of us have simply taken for granted in our intellectual lives.”
(Daniel Liechty, Illinois State University Religion