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Constitutions and Religious Freedom

Part of Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy

  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107041448

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About the Authors
  • Many of us take for granted the idea that the right to religious freedom should be protected in a free, democratic polity. This book challenges whether the protection and privilege of religious belief and identity should be prioritized over any other right. By studying the effects of constitutional promises of religious freedom and establishment clauses, Frank B. Cross sets the stage for a set of empirical questions that examine the consequences of such protections. Although the case for broader protection is often made as a theoretical matter, constitutions generally protect freedom of religion. Allowing people full choice in religious beliefs or freedom of conscience is central to their autonomy. Freedom of religion is thus potentially a very valuable aspect of society, at least so long as it respects the freedom of individuals to be irreligious. This book tests these associations and finds that constitutions provide national religious protection, especially when the legal system is more sophisticated.

    • Studies the effect of constitutional promises of religious freedom and establishment clauses
    • Empirically tests the idea that constitutions provide national religious protection, especially when the legal system is more sophisticated
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Emerging comparative law scholarship evidences an increased appetite for data and empirical methods to complement traditional comparative methodologies. In this spirit, Cross offers a thorough, thoughtful, and novel analysis of a critical question: when it comes to religious freedoms worldwide, do constitutions matter? Cross's comparative approach and empirical lens carve new and promising intellectual terrain and make clear how different constitutional provisions generate different effects on religious freedoms. This book is important not only for what it says but also how it says it. A must-read for comparative, legal, and religious scholars.' Michael Heise, Cornell Law School

    'Bell and Li, together and separately, have done much to reinvigorate both the scholarly discussion and public dialogue regarding the virtues of political meritocracy. Their book is an excellent compendium for both scholars and students interested in the impact that modern political Confucianism and political meritocracy play in China, Singapore, East and South Asian societies, as well as the implications of political meritocracy's potential influence on liberal democracy and democratic theory.' Jon R. Taylor, Journal of Chinese Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107041448
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why freedom of religion?
    2. Religious freedom around the world
    3. Measuring religious freedom
    4. Social factors and religious freedom
    5. Constitutions and religious freedom
    6. The constitutional protection of religious freedom
    7. Religious freedom and society.

  • Author

    Frank B. Cross, University of Texas, Austin
    Frank B. Cross holds a joint appointment as the Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law and Professor of Law at the University of Texas. His scholarship traverses several fields, including descriptive and normative studies of judicial decision making, the economics of law and litigation, and traditional policy and doctrinal issues in administrative and environmental law. Since 1998, he has published more than twenty articles in various publications, including the Yale Law Journal, the Cornell Law Review, the New York University Law Review, and the Columbia Law Review.

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