Campus 101: UC Berkeley Anthropologist Studies Religious Freedom

Saba Mahmood of UC Berkeley has received a three-year, $496,000 grant to study how law and politics are transforming religious freedom.  His project will synthesize ideas about human rights and civil society organizations as well as incorporate how specific jurists, policymakers, and academics have affected the debate on religious freedom in the U.S., the Middle East, South Asia, and the European Union.  Rather than focusing on the single idea of religious liberty, Mahmood’s project will study historical trajectories, interpretations, and practices of religious freedom.  Mahmood asserts that in order to reach a consensus about what religious freedom means, a comparative history of religious freedom concepts and practical application must be explored.

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