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The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty$
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Micah Schwartzman, Chad Flanders, and Zoë Robinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190262525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262525.001.0001

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Religious Institutionalism—Why Now?

Religious Institutionalism—Why Now?

(p.207) 11 Religious Institutionalism—Why Now?
The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty

Paul Horwitz

Nelson Tebbe

Oxford University Press

Group religious freedom claims are growing in number and prominence, despite demographic shifts away from individual affiliation with religious groups. This chapter explores this apparent tension, focusing on why group claims have come to the fore now. The authors offer a multivalent explanation rooted in a single phenomenon: the continuing “culture wars” between religious conservatives and social progressives. Progressives have pressed claims for a broad egalitarian regulatory state and criticized religious accommodations. Religious conservatives, in turn, have intensified in their commitment to the value of religious group autonomy and drawn on group-oriented elements in social thought and legal doctrine to press such claims with the substantial resources at their command. Ultimately, both moves are underwritten by the cultural and political polarization of contemporary American society. The authors’ thesis has important implications for the law and policy of church-state relations.

Keywords:   religious institutionalism, First Amendment, Free Exercise, Establishment Clause, religious belief, rise of nones, Hobby Lobby, culture wars, progressives, religious conservatives

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