Jolyon Baraka Thomas is an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas draws on an impressive array of important sources to argue that although religious freedom solves problems of inequity and oppression, it creates new problems and is inherently coercive. --Choice Faking Liberties is a challenging intervention into not only the historiography of modern Japan, but religious studies more generally. --New Books Network Given that the last decade has seen a number of scholarly works detailing the establishment of 'religion' as a concept in early Meiji Japan, Thomas's efforts to show how the category of religion was negotiated in Japan during the entire first half of the twentieth century represents a welcome move forward in time. Meticulously researched, theoretically sharp, and elegantly written, Faking Liberties is an excellent study not only of how religious freedom was constructed as a transnational ideal through mutual negotiation during the period of American occupation, but also of how various actors interacted with religious freedom during the interbellum period. Faking Liberties is a welcome addition to the field of Japanese religious studies as well as to the critical study of religion and law. --H-Net Reviews