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Believing in Religious Freedom

Believing in Religious Freedom

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Three Believing in Religious Freedom
Source:
Politics of Religious Freedom
Author(s):
Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226248646.003.0005

This essay examines the effects of conceiving of religion as belief in the context of international religious freedom promotion. Hurd points out that the lived reality of many religious practitioners cannot be reduced to belief, and that the tendency to do so among international religious freedom advocates inevitably privileges some individuals and groups over others. Hurd emphasizes the seductive link to economic and political freedom when belief and choice are made primary, leading to the marketization and confessionalization of religion—and even to something like mind control.

Keywords:   religious freedom, religious freedom advocacy, belief, globalization, politics, international relations, free religious market

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