Unequal State Support of Religion: On Resentment, Equality, and the Separation of Religion and State

Nahshon Perez, Jonathan Fox, Jennifer M. McClure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

A major argument for the separation of religion and state is that of equality: if a given state chooses one religion to support, members of minority religions will expectedly feel alienated, and grow resentful of the state itself and its organs. This argument was utilized by major legal and political philosophers (Nussbaum, Dworkin) and major courts (U.S. Supreme Court, ECHR). As a part of an empirical turn in legal and political theory (‘realistic’, ‘contextual’, ‘experimental’), we examine whether the analyses of cross-country empirical data from numerous democratic and non-democratic states support the ‘equality’ argument. We found no cross-country evidence to support the equality argument. We locate these findings within the context of recent debates regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the separation model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-448
Number of pages18
JournalPolitics, Religion and Ideology
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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