Journal Article

The Sociology of Religious Freedom: A Structural and Socio-Legal Analysis

James T. Richardson

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 3, pages 271-294
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/67.3.271
The Sociology of Religious Freedom: A Structural and Socio-Legal Analysis

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This paper offers a structural and socio-legal analysis that examines historical, sociological, and cultural factors that have given rise to and promoted the idea of religious freedom in modern human societies. The effort involves an integration of research from the sociology of new and minority religions with theoretical ideas from the Sociology of Religion and the Sociology of Law. The relationship of pluralism to religious freedom is examined, as is how the pervasiveness, centralization, autonomy, type (adversarial vs. inquisitorial), and discretion of legal and judicial systems impact religious freedom. The application of key concepts from the work of Donald Black, including status, intimacy, and third party partisanship seem especially useful, and well as issues related to the social production of evidence used in legal cases involving newer and controversial religious groups

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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