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An Introduction to Religion and Politics

Theory and Practice

Jonathan Fox (Bar Ilan University, Israel)



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21 February 2018
This fully revised edition offers a comprehensive overview of the many theories of religion and politics and provides students with an accessible, in-depth guide to the subject's most significant debates, issues, and methodologies.

It begins by asking the basic questions of how social scientists see religion and why religion remains relevant to politics in the modern era. Fox examines the influence of religious identity, beliefs, institutions and legitimacy on politics, and surveys important approaches and issues found in the literature on religion and politics. Four new chapters on religious policy around the world, political secularism, and religious freedom and human rights have been added to fully revised content covering religious identity, rational choice approaches to religious politics worldviews, beliefs, doctrines, ideologies, institutions and political mobilization, fundamentalism, secularization, and religion and conflict.

This work will be essential reading for all students of religion and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and security studies.
By:   Jonathan Fox (Bar Ilan University Israel)
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   2nd New edition
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 174mm, 
Weight:   499g
ISBN:   9781138740105
ISBN 10:   1138740101
Series:   Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics
Pages:   252
Publication Date:   21 February 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Chapter 1: Introduction Approaches to the Study of Religion and Politics A Social Science Approach to Religion The Religion and State Dataset Religious Discrimination vs. Religious Freedom A Note on Methodology and Citations Conclusions Chapter 2: Secularization and Functionalism: Predictions of Religion's Decline, and Irrelevance Classic Secularization Theory Religion's Resurgence? The Evolution of Secularization Theory Moving Past Secularization Theory Functionalism Critiques of Functionalism Religion as a Tool vs. as an Independent Force in Political Science Theory The Doctrine of Religion's Irrelevance Secularization, Functionalism, Religion and Political Science Theory Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 3: Religious Identity Is Religious Identity Unique? The Origins of Religious Identity in Politics Religious Identity and Tolerance Religious Identity and Democracy Religious Identity and Conflict Political Opinions, Voting, and Beyond Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 4: Religious Worldviews, Beliefs, Doctrines, and Theologies Religion as a Basis for Understanding the World Religious Rules and Standards of Behavior Political Manifestations of Religious Worldviews Beliefs and Ideologies Religious Actors Belief vs. Identity Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 5: Religious Legitimacy Religion as a Justification for Anything The Evolving Role of Religious Legitimacy in Government The Political Uses of Religious Legitimacy The Limits of Religious Legitimacy Discussion Questions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 6: Religious Institutions and Political Mobilization Religious Institutions and Political Resource Mobilization Religion and the Free Rider Problem The Downside of Religious-Based Mobilization When Do Religious Institutions Mobilize? Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 7: Rational Religion Functionalism and Rational Choice The Supply Side Theory Religious Liberty and Rational Calculation The Interests of Religious Institutions Rational Actor Theories in Perspective Religion and the Economy Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 8: Religious Fundamentalism What is Fundamentalism? Why is Fundamentalism Politically Relevant? Radicals, Extremists, and Deviants? Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 9: Religion and Conflict Religious Worldviews, Beliefs, Doctrines, and Ideologies Religious Legitimacy Religious Institutions Fundamentalists and Violent Conflict Religious Terror Messianic Violence Recruitment Are Religious Conflicts Different? Religion and Peace It is Not Just Religion Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 10: Government Religion Policy 1: Official Policies and Supporting Religion What is Government Policy? Official Policy Motivations for Supporting Religion Types of Support for Religion Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 11: Government Religion Policy 2: Restrictions, Regulation, Control and Discrimination Regulation, Restriction, and Control Religious Discrimination in Theory Religious Discrimination in Practice Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 12: Political Secularism What do Secular and Secularism Mean? Defining Political Secularism Families of Political Secular Ideologies Secular-Religious Competition A Complex Competition Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 13: Religious Freedom Official Religious Freedom The Multiple Meanings of Religious Freedom The Complexity of Religious Freedom Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 14: Religion in International Relations Secularization, and Ignoring Religion Religious Identity Religious Legitimacy Religious Institutions and Mobilization Transnational Religious Institutions and other Religious Actors Transnational Religious Issues and Phenomena Faith-Based Diplomacy Religious Worldviews, Ideologies and Beliefs Conclusions Discussion Questions Further Readings Chapter 15: Conclusions Linking Theory and Practice A Theoretical Framework to Comprehend Religion and Politics

Jonathan Fox is the Yehuda Avner Professor of Religion and Politics in the Political Studies Department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, the director of the Religion and State Project, and the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Religion and International Relations section of the International Studies Organization (ISA). He has published extensively on religion and politics.

Reviews for An Introduction to Religion and Politics: Theory and Practice

This revised and reorganized edition of the Fox volume makes this work the standard introduction to politics and religion. An Introduction to Religion and Politics (2nd edition) covers virtually all of the major approaches to the study of religion and politics, and is both accessible to beginning students and a valuable resource for serious academic analysts. Quite simply, it has become the dominant text in the comparative field. - Ted G. Jelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas An Introduction to Religion and Politics is an outstanding step beyond the high quality first edition. Fox, a leading scholar, offers a tour de force on subjects ranging from religious freedom to government regulation of faith. The book is distinguished by its comprehensiveness, notably intellectual breadth and topical range. - Patrick James, Dornsife Dean's Professor, School of International Relations, University of Southern California Any student who seeks a foundation of knowledge about religion and global politics, in using this revised text, will be learning at the feet of one of the pioneers and masters of the field. Professor Fox leaves no stone unturned in covering both the theory and practice of religion in global politics in today's world. - Daniel Philpott, Professor, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

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