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Political Secularism, Religion, and the State
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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.


'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.'

Source: Journal of Church and State

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