Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sullivan & friends on religious freedom

We're getting caught up on the past few years of the University of Chicago Press' Law and Society book series. Edited by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (Indiana University Bloomington), Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University), Saba Mahmood (University of California, Berkeley), and Peter G. Danchin (University of Maryland), Politics of Religious Freedom came out in 2015. Here is the abstract:

In a remarkably short period of time, the realization of religious freedom has achieved broad consensus as an indispensable condition for peace. Faced with widespread reports of religious persecution, public and private actors around the world have responded with laws and policies designed to promote freedom of religion. But what precisely is being promoted? What are the cultural and epistemological assumptions underlying this response, and what forms of politics are enabled in the process? 
The fruits of the three-year Politics of Religious Freedom research project, the contributions to this volume unsettle the assumption—ubiquitous in policy circles—that religious freedom is a singular achievement, an easily understood state of affairs, and that the problem lies in its incomplete accomplishment. Taking a global perspective, the more than two dozen contributors delineate the different conceptions of religious freedom predominant in the world today, as well as their histories and social and political contexts. Together, the contributions make clear that the reasons for persecution are more varied and complex than is widely acknowledged, and that the indiscriminate promotion of a single legal and cultural tool meant to address conflict across a wide variety of cultures can have the perverse effect of exacerbating the problems that plague the communities cited as falling short.
The second section of the book should be of special interest to LHB readers:
PART 2. History 
Preface Elizabeth Shakman Hurd 
Chapter 8. The Problem with the History of Toleration Evan Haefeli 
Chapter 9. Religious Minorities and Citizenship in the Long Nineteenth Century: Some Contexts of Jewish Emancipation  David Sorkin
Chapter 10. Varieties of Religious Freedom and Governance: A Practical Perspective Robert W. Hefner 
Chapter 11. Religious Freedom between Truth and Tactic Samuel Moyn 
Chapter 12. Religious Freedom, Minority Rights, and Geopolitics Saba Mahmood 
Chapter 13. Ceylon/Sri Lanka: The Politics of Religious Freedom and the End of Empire Benjamin Schonthal 
Chapter 14. Liberty as Recognition Nandini Chatterjee
Further information is available here.

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