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Do individual positions toward religious truth-claims matter for perceptions of religious freedom? Relying on a survey of 1,035 university students from Northern Italy, this chapter conducts a micro-level analysis on the social perceptions of religious freedom (sprf). Using a five-dimensional measure of the sprf concept, we find that four out of five dimensions are widely accepted with the main differences occurring between Catholic youth and religious nones. The analysis of religious truth-claims suggested that pluralism, agnosticism, and interreligious perspectives were endorsed in the sample, and all truth-claims positions were selectively associated with religious freedom dimensions. The causal relationship between pluralistic truth-claims and the religious freedom measure is not depicted while atheism, compared to other truth-claim positions, is less supportive to the societal values of religious freedom. Moreover, positive views toward religious diversity have strong positive influences on the perceptions of religious freedom as individual autonomy, societal value, and a human rights principle while neglecting religious diversity leads to the disrespect to religious freedom as a human right.

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