Law

Religious Legal Activism: Abortion Rhetoric Among British Evangelicals

Podcast
In this episode, Dr. Méadhbh McIvor joins Savannah Finver to discuss her recent book Representing God: Christian Legal Activism in Contemporary England. Dr. McIvor provides our listeners with the background for her project; the method of ethnography, as well as its challenges and implications for the study of religion; and how the belief in a certain kind of afterlife impacts the kinds of legal and political activism that her interlocutors are willing to engage in.

Law, Religious Racism, and Religions of the African Diaspora

Podcast
Danielle N. Boaz sat down with Benjamin Marcus to discuss her new book, Banning Black Gods: Law and Religions of the African Diaspora. She examines the legal challenges faced by adherents of the most widely practiced African-derived religions in the 21st century.

Separating Religion and Government…But What Is Religion?: A Look at the US Supreme Court

Podcast
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.

How Religious Freedom Makes Religion

Podcast
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.

When Islam Is Not a Religion

Podcast
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.

The BASR and the Impact of Religious Studies

Podcast
A panel on the public impact and engagement of Religious Studies/Study of Religion/s led by committee members of the British Association for the Study of Religions, including Dr Stephen Gregg (Wolverhampton), Dr Christopher Cotter (Edinburgh), Dr Suzanne Owen (Leeds Trinity), Dr David Robertson (The Open University) and Dr Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh). Issues discussed include why RS continues to be a "muted voice" ...

Christian evangelical organisations in global anti-trafficking networks

Podcast
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a remarkable surge of interest among both academics and policy makers in the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field, the work of ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organisations’ (FBOs) has garnered considerable attention.

South American church-state relations

Podcast
Politics and social institutions are inseparable. Whether we take a look at small-scale or complex societies, we can find that politics is involved with economics, kinship with hierarchy, and of course, religion with the state. In this podcast, Sidney Castillo interviews professor Marco Huaco Palomino as he addresses the nuances of secularity in several Latin American countries.

Gods and Demons, Scholars and Lawyers: Brief Reflections on American Religion and Law

Response
Some religion scholars got into studying the law through studying New Religious Movements (NRMs) or minority religions, as they tend to be treated differently under the law. Talking to lawyers is a real skill, and is very good at it. In the subfield of traditional American church-state studies, legal historians, lawyers, lobbyists, and religion scholars convene for conservation and debate, mostly about First Amendment jurisprudence.

Religion and American Law

Podcast
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.

New Religious Movements and Contemporary Discourses About Religion

Response
Increased attention to religion by international governments and NGOs has not necessarily resulted in less problematic models of religion being used by these governments and groups. As I listened to Susan Palmer’s RSP interview and read about her new co-authored book (with Stuart A. Wright) Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities (2015), I was reminded why NRMs make such useful case studies in the religious studies classroom. From a pedagogical perspective, ...

Minority Religions and the Law

Podcast
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,...

Religion, Secularism and the Chaplaincy

Response
"As Sullivan and other religious studies scholars complicate terms like religion and secularism, reducing these terms to near incoherence, and insist on the constant intermingling of the sacred and the secular, they leave jurists and legislators in a predicament with important practical consequences."

Redefinition of the eclectic group-identity

Response
"In a way, when registering themselves, non-institutional religious groups take a step toward being more institutional and possibly even hierarchical – even if there is not much of hierarchy within the group to begin with." In the podcast Suzanne Owen refers to the Druidry's manifold self-identification situation. It seems to me this is a wide-spread phenomenon where there are conflicting ideas about how 'religion'...

Druidry and the Definition of Religion

Podcast
Contemporary Druidry often presents itself as the native spirituality of the British Isles. However, there is not one form of Druidry and there are also significant numbers of Christian and atheist Druids as well as those that combine Druidry with Wiccan or other perspectives and practices. From international organisations to local ‘groves’, there are diverse types of Druid groups, ...