To this stimulating and learned series of posts I cannot add much about the genealogy of religious freedom or its fate in the US courts, never mind predict the consequences of judicial decisions, or even address a larger question raised by Winni Sullivan and others which, I take it, has to do with the general effects of submitting questions of religious practice to a particular kind of legal system, one that works by means of precedents, binding decisions, etc. I make two comments as an anthropologist.Read the rest of Is religion free?.
Michael Lambek is professor of anthropology and Canada Research Chair as well as department chair at the University of Toronto. He writes on religion and society in the western Indian Ocean, especially on ritual and spirit possession. He has recently edited Ordinary Ethics: Anthropology, Language and Action (Fordham UP) and is currently compiling the Companion to the Anthropology of Religion (Wiley-Blackwell).