VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 26 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 7/14/2011
Western nations maintain variously high walls of separation between church and state. One consequence of this separation is the ongoing dilution, often preceding the occasional disappearance from "public" life, of traditional religious practices and symbols -- display of the Ten Commandments, for example. Another consequence of separation and neutrality is a perceived loss of social unity within Western nations, which is coincident with the diminished public display of religious symbolism. In this article, the author examines the development of religious toleration and accommodation as well as current efforts to shape and perhaps to reverse its direction. He argues that thinking about the limits of religious liberty in terms of property rights and rational individual behavior -- that is, thinking outside the traditional philosophical-political-legal box -- casts the most intellectually challenging issues in objective and tractable terms.
Property Rights and the Limi
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