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Political Secularism, Religion, and the State
A Time Series Analysis of Worldwide Data


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics

  • Date Published: April 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107433915

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • This book examines 111 types of state religion policy in 177 countries between 1990 and 2008. Jonathan Fox argues that policy is largely a result of the competition between political secular actors and religious actors, both of which try to influence state religion policy. While there are other factors that influence state religion policy and both the secular and religious camps are divided, Fox offers that the secular-religious competition perspective provides critical insight into the nature of religious politics across the globe. While many states have both increased and decreased their involvement in religion, Fox demonstrates that states which have become more involved in religion are far more common.

    • Offers the most complete coverage of how states deal with religion of any book on the market
    • Includes an analysis of each of the 111 specific types of policies included in the study
    • Introduces a new perspective for understanding religion and politics: the secular-religious competition perspective
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Drawing on an impressive wealth of new data, Fox offers more detail and nuance on the relationship between religion and state than any publication to date. He demonstrates that the relationship is often not what it seems: apparent efforts to support religion can serve as mechanisms for control; despite expectations of insignificance, religion remains a central concern in state policies; and rather than being stable, as constitutions might suggest, the relationships between religion and state are ever changing.' Roger Finke, Pennsylvania State University

    'Despite the apparent clarity of Jesus's admonition to 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's', secular and religious leaders have always competed over issues of religious policy. Jonathan Fox provides an analysis of this competition that is nuanced, sophisticated, and compelling. This is an example of the 'science' of comparative politics at its best.' Ted G. Jelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    'Fox's detailed categorization and analysis of the phenomenon of state religion policy is essential reading.' Journal of Church and State

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107433915
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 54 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Secularism or secularization?
    3. Establishment, support, neutrality, or hostility: the varieties of official religion policy
    4. State support for religion
    5. Regulation, restriction, and control of the majority religion
    6. Religious discrimination
    7. Education, abortion, and proselytizing
    8. Religion in constitutions
    9. Conclusions
    Appendix A. Data collection and reliability.

  • Author

    Jonathan Fox, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
    Jonathan Fox is a Professor of Political Science in the Political Studies Department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He also serves as a director of the Religion and State Project ( and as a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He is the author or editor of nine books including the most widely used textbook on religion and world politics. He currently serves on the editorial or advisory boards of four journals and is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Article Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

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