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DepositIntroduction: The Foundations and Frontiers of Religious Liberty

This article introduces a symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1981 U.N. Declaration on Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance and of Discrimination Based Upon Religion and Belief. The symposium was aimed at comparing religious liberty in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, and addressed a range of questions regarding the subject. These countries were chosen as a topic of conversation because they share the same common law tradition, they share a deep devotion to religious liberty, and all seven ratified the U.N. Declaration. The U.N. concept of religious liberty underwent several changes from 1966 to 1992, and issues arose from the U.N. framework of religious liberty. One issue is the need to protect religious minorities, especially controversial groups. Likewise, limits on religious and anti-religious exercises that are offensive or harmful must be implemented. Both of these issues underscore the need to balance private and public expressions of religion. For the most part, all seven of these nations have handled these questions peacefully. They have had robust exchanges regarding these ideas and have strong democracies that have allowed them to withstand the challenges of implementing religious liberties. These countries serve as a model, not necessarily of how to implement religious liberty, but rather of how the process of securing religious liberty should be approached.

DepositAmerican Religious Liberty in International Perspective

This Article compares First Amendment religious liberty with prevailing international human rights norms on religious freedom, particularly as set out in the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, the 1989 Vienna Concluding Documents. The United States Supreme Court’s cases on freedom of conscience, free exercise of religion, and religious equality and non-discrimination compare favorably to international standards, although the Court’s repeated failure to protect the distinct religious freedom claims of Native American groups falls short. The Supreme Court cases defending the principle of separation of church and state mesh well with international concerns for the rights and autonomy of religious groups, but go beyond international norms in largely removing religious freedom from public education.

DepositMarcher’s Merger

Explores how Henry James’s “The Beast in the Jungle” reads exactly as the sort of clinging back to a projected mother-figure, after freedom began to spell feelings of abandonment that psychically were proving increasingly intolerable, that object relations therapists finds in patients. Delineates how much of the story amounts to a tussle between “son” and “mother,” involving when exactly the mother-debt could be gauged to have been sufficiently paid off to permit a renewal of separation.

DepositMedia and religous diversity

This review addresses recent work on media practices in situations of religious diversity. I hereby distinguish three approaches in this literature: the media politics of diversity, religious diversity and the public sphere, and the diversity of religious mediations. Whereas the first focuses on the control of representations of religious diversity and difference, the second strand of research looks at the interaction of religious difference and the public circulation of discourse and images. The third approach takes built-in links between media and religious practices as a starting point to investigate the diversity of modes of interaction between religious practitioners and religious otherworlds and the consequences these modes have for sociocultural life. This article argues that a perspective mindful of the intrinsic relationships of religion and media is best positioned to do justice to the questions provoked by the intersection of media practices and religious difference.

DepositFreedom, Persecution, and the Status of Christian Minorities

This chapter explores issues of religious freedom and religious persecution faced by Christian minorities around the world. It describes the nature and scope of religious rights and analyzes various forms of religious persecution against prevailing international human rights instruments. It also provides case studies of recent persecution of Christian minorities in Afghanistan, Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The chapter concludes with an argument that religious liberty for all peaceable forms of faith is a fundamental human right, and an essential part of every just human rights and constitutional regime.

DepositMedia, citizenship, and religious mobilization: The Muharram Awareness Campaign in Mumbai

The great urban diversity of Mumbai has given rise to a range of religious mobilizations that are not only shaped by a history of communalism along religious lines but also driven by intra-religious rivalry and competition in their urban environment. Against the back- drop of a global megacity, contemporary Shi‘ite religious activism in Mumbai provides evidence of the importance of global processes of religious mobilization, while also showing its entanglement with state regulation of religion. An advertising campaign by a Shi‘ite media center illustrates that such religious activism with global ramifications can only be understood if one also takes its intersection with state-sponsored regimes of religious diversity into account. Media practices of Indian Muslims as a vulnerable minor- ity are especially responsive to normative discourses and images of religious diversity, and mobilize alternative strands of Indian secularism in order to counteract the fragility of their citizenship.

MemberBrooke Conti

Brooke Conti works on literature and religion in post-Reformation England. Her book, Confessions of Faith in Early Modern England, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2014; it explores the paradoxical relationship between autobiography and polemic in an age of religious conflict. Recent or forthcoming articles include work on Shakespeare, Milton, and Donne in venues including Renaissance Quarterly, Modern Philology, and Milton Studies. Currently, she is working on a second monograph, tentatively entitled Religious Nostalgia from Shakespeare to Milton, and a scholarly edition of Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici, which she is co-editing with Reid Barbour for Oxford University Press as part of OUP’s Complete Works of Thomas Browne. Conti’s research has been supported by short-term research fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Princeton University Library Rare Books Collection. She is also a recipient of a Distinguished Publication Award from the John Donne Society.