Playlist

Religion and Law

Courts make decisions every day about religious groups and their members. From claims that new religious movements are not “religions” to the fight to separate secular legislative and judicial bodies from religious influence, legal systems play an essential role in shaping not just what counts as religious for the courts but also how people understand religion’s role in society. To learn more, please enjoy these episodes specially picked by RSP editor Benjamin Marcus!

Episodes in this playlist

  1. In this interview with Brad Stoddard, Professor Eric Mazur discusses a variety of issues relating to religion and law in the USA, such as the evolving state of First Amendment jurisprudence, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, dominant trends in the study of religion and American law.
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  2. Surely we have moved past the idea of sinister cults brainwashing innocent victims? When it comes to the law, not so, Susan Palmer tells David G. Robertson.cult" and "sect" uncritically. Nevertheless, outside of academia, the language of "cults" continues to be used,...
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  3. Within modern American society the meme of a separation of Church and State exists without a doubt; however, there is very little evidence to actually prove that this separation exists, functions as such, or indeed that it ever existed. In the textbooks, popular news outlets and in the political arena religion is supposed to be wholly withheld-expelled in favor of majority rule.
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  4. Jolyon Thomas talks American Empire, Racialization, and Religion in Post-War Japan with Brett Esaki at the 2019 AAR Conference in San Diego, CA.
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  5. Americans generally affirm the importance of separating "church" and "state." But what does church--or religion--mean? Hear two leading religious freedom lawyers discuss the meaning of religious freedom in key #SCOTUS cases, including one before the Court this term.
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  6. Tisa Wenger tells David Robertson how local, national, and international regimes of religious freedom have produced and reproduced the category 'religion' and its others in the modern world.
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  7. Asma Uddin is the author of When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America's Fight for Religious Freedom. In this book, Uddin examines an alarming trend to redefine Islam as a political ideology, not a religion. In our conversation, we track the history of this movement to redefine Islam and its implications for the rights of Muslims. We discuss the widespread presumption among American progressives that courts tend to protect religious freedom for Christians, but not for Muslims, and we examine particular stories that support and problematize that narrative. In particular, Uddin provides vivid examples of how American courts have reacted to arguments that Islam is not a religion.
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  8. Religious freedom is an inherently good thing, right? It’s a cherished idea that is easy for state governments to enact, no? In this interview, Finbarr Curtis questions both of these assertions. In The Production of American Religious Freedom, Curtis argues that religious freedom is a fluent and malleable concept that people deploy for various and competing reasons.
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