The State, Toleration, and Religious Freedom
Advances in the Economics of Religion, Edited by Iyer, Rubin and Carvalho. Palgrave, 2018
29 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2018 Last revised: 1 Jul 2018
Date Written: May 30, 2018
This paper offers a novel account of the rise of religious freedom. Religious and political power have been bound together since pre-history. As a consequence, there was an absence of religious freedom throughout most of history. Even when religious dissidents were not being persecuted for their beliefs, religious practice was not free. We investigate the motivations that led some states to persecute individuals for their religious beliefs and other states to abstain from persecution. We argue that the rise of modern states — states capable of enforcing general rules and the rule of law — made possible religious peace and the eventual rise of religious and other liberal freedoms.
Keywords: Religion, State Capacity, Rule of Law, Toleration
JEL Classification: N43, Z1, Z12, Z13, K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation