Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion. Volume 12 (2021)

Religious Freedom. Social-Scientific Approaches


Volume Editors: , , and
This volume offers original research on religious freedom from around the globe. Individual chapters address the issues related to defining and understanding the concept of religious freedom and incorporate sociological thinking into interdisciplinary analysis of this topic. By interpreting legal cases, analyzing cross-national data, interviewing policy-makers, and reviewing policy-papers concerning religious freedom, the authors highlight the necessity of sociology engaging with other disciplines in this type of research. By applying theories of religious pluralism, secularity, secularization, judicialization of religion, “lived religion”, total institutions, and others, this volume contributes theoretical perspectives, sociological concepts and empirical analyses that highlight the development of religious freedom as an area of study in the social sciences.

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Olga Breskaya, Ph.D., is a postdoctorate researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology, University of Padova. Her research interest is focused on sociology of human rights and quantitative study of religious freedom.
Roger Finke is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and International Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University and is the Founder of the Association of Religion Data Archives ( He has authored two award-winning books with Rodney Stark. His most recent books include The Price of Freedom Denied with Brian Grim (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Places of Faith: A Road Trip Across America’s Religious Landscape with Christopher P. Scheitle (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Faithful Measures: The Art and Science of Measuring Religion with Christopher Bader (New York University Press, 2017).
Giuseppe Giordan, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at the University of Padova. He is Coordinator of the International Joint PhD programme on Human Rights, Society and Multi- level Governance, and co-editor of the Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion (Brill). His sociological research focuses on spirituality, conversion, religious and cultural pluralism, and religious freedom. He has recently edited Global Eastern Orthodoxy. Politics, Religion, and Human Rights with Siniša Zrinščak (Springer, 2020) and Chinese Religions Going Global with Nanlai Cao and Fenggang Yang (Brill, 2021).

Contributors are: Zaheeda P. Alibhai, Chrysa Almpani, Olga Breskaya, Anindita Chakrabarti, Lukáš Dirga, Roger Finke, Giuseppe Giordan, Kerby Goff, Anna Grasso, Nuran Erol Işık, Dane R. Mataic, Efe Peker, Alexandros Sakellariou, Guillaume Silhol, Jan Váně, Barbara R. Walters.
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Notes on Contributors

Introduction—Religious Freedom: Social-Scientific Approaches
  Olga Breskaya, Roger Finke, and Giuseppe Giordan

Religious Freedom, Secularity and Secularism

1 How does Secularity “Travel”?: Toward a Policy Mobilities Approach in the Study of Religious Freedoms
  Efe Peker

2 Religious Freedom, Legal Activism, and Muslim Personal Law in Contemporary India: A Sociological Exploration of Secularism
  Anindita Chakrabarti

3 Religious Freedom and Secularism in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia
  Anna Grasso

4 Religious Pluralism, Religious Freedom and the Secularization Process in the Greek Educational System
  Alexandros Sakellariou

Multi-level Study of Religious Freedom

5 Regulating Sincerity: Religion, Law, Public Policy, and the Ambivalence of Religious Freedom in Pluralist Societies
  Zaheeda P. Alibhai

6 The Religionization in Alevi Culture: An Exploratory Study on Spiritual Leaders (Dedes)
  Nuran Erol Işık

7 One, Many or None: Religious Truth-Claims and Social Perception of Religious Freedom
  Olga Breskaya and Giuseppe Giordan

8 Religious Freedom in Prisons: A Case Study from the Czech Republic
  Jan Váně and Lukáš Dirga

b>Politics and Policies on Religious Freedom

9 Organizations and Religious Restrictions: An International Overview of the Intersection of State and Non-Governmental Organizations and Religious Groups
  Dane R. Mataic and Kerby Goff

10 Religious Freedom between Politics and Policies: Social and Legal Conflicts over Catholic Religious Education in Italy, 1984–1992
  Guillaume Silhol

11 The Measure of Cedaw: Religion, Religious Freedom, and the Rights of Women
  Barbara R. Walters

12 Religious Freedom and Religionization of World Politics: Views of EU Political and Religious Representatives
  Chrysa K. Almpani


All interested in the social-scientific study of religious freedom, and anyone concerned with contemporary theories and measures of religious freedom, including academics, graduate and post-graduate students, NGOs, human rights experts and policy-makers.
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