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Description - The Political Origins of Religious Liberty by Anthony Gill

The issue of religious liberty has gained ever-increasing attention among policy makers and the public. Whereas politicians have long championed the idea of religious freedom and tolerance, the actual achievement of these goals has been an arduous battle for religious minorities. What motivates political leaders to create laws providing for greater religious liberty? In contrast to scholars who argue that religious liberty results from the spread of secularization and modern ideas, Anthony Gill argues that religious liberty results from interest-based calculations of secular rulers. Using insights from political economists, Gill develops a theory of the origins of religious liberty based upon the political and economic interests of governing officials. Political leaders are most likely to permit religious freedom when it enhances their own political survival, tax revenue, and the economic welfare of their country. He explores his theory using cases from British America, Latin America, Russia, and the Baltic states.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521848145
ISBN-10: 0521848148
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 29-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Anthony Gill

Anthony Gill is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, where he specializes in the study of religion, economics, and politics. He is the author of Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America, as well as numerous articles on religion and politics. Professor Gill was awarded the University of Washington's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999 and is also a nonresident scholar at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.