1st Edition

Democracy, Religion, and Commerce Private Markets and the Public Regulation of Religion

Edited By Kathleen Flake, Nathan B. Oman Copyright 2023
    210 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection considers the relationship between religion, state, and market. In so doing, it also illustrates that the market is a powerful site for the cultural work of secularizing religious conflict. Though expressed as a simile, with religious freedom functioning like market freedom, “free market religion” has achieved the status of general knowledge about the nature of religion as either good or bad. It legislates good religion as that which operates according to free market principles: it is private, with no formal relationship to government; and personal: a matter of belief and conscience. As naturalized elements of historically contingent and discursively maintained beliefs about religion, these criteria have ethical and regulatory force. Thus, in culture and law, the effect of the metaphor has become instrumental, not merely descriptive. This volume seeks to productively complicate and invite further analysis of this easy conflation of democracy, religion, and the market. It invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to consider more intentionally the extent to which markets are implicated and illuminate the place of religion in public life. The book will be a valuable resource for researchers and academics working in the areas of law and religion, ethics, and economics.

    Introduction: Democracy and Religion in the Market

    Kathleen Flake & Nathan B. Oman

    Chapter 1: Denominational Uncoupling in a Divestment Age: Religion in the History of the American University

    Kathryn Lofton

    Chapter 2: Markets, Religion, & Moral Deliberation: The Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate

    Julia D. Mahoney

    Chapter 3: Regulating Religion in the Public Arena: Lessons Learned from Global Data Collections

    Roger Finke & Kerby Goff

    Chapter 4: Shots Not Fired in the Culture War: Commercial Litigation in Contemporary Rabbinical Courts

    Chaim Saiman

    Chapter 5: Go Tell It [to the IRS]: American Suspicions Around Religious Profit-Making

    Samuel D. Brunson

    Chapter 6: The Liberty of the Will in Theology Permits the Liberated Markets of Liberalism

    Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

    Chapter 7: Neutral Principles and Legal Pluralism

    Víctor M. Muñiz-Fraticelli

    Chapter 8: Markets as Moral Contexts: An Account Based in Catholic Theological Anthropology

    Christina McRorie

    Chapter 9: Regulating Religious Performance on the Commercial Stage

    Nathan B. Oman


    Kathleen Flake is Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies and Co-Director, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, University of Virginia, USA.

    Nathan B. Oman is Rollins Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Law and Markets, William and Mary Law School, USA.