Religious Coercion Discussed in Church State Journal

May 26, 1997

WACO, Texas - In the most recent issue of the Journal of Church and State, Dr. Barry G. Hankins, associate director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University, assistant professor of history and associate editor of the journal, discusses "Religious Coercion in a Postmodern Age."

Citing the book The Travail of Religious Liberty by Roland Bainton, Hankins states that three criteria are necessary for religious coercion or persecution to take place: the persecutors must believe they are right, that the issue is important and that the coercion will be effective. Hankins discusses the ways in which the modern world undercut one or more of these prerequisites for coercion and, therefore, produced toleration. The question posed for the postmodern age is whether Bainton's three prerequisites for persecution will be reevaluated and reestablished. In the hope of heading off such a possibility, Hankins concludes with a plea for new ways of conceptualizing religious freedom that will take the postmodern situation into account.

Other articles in the issue include "Religious Traditions and Health Care Policy: Potential for Democratic Discourse" by Clarke E. Cochran; "Visions of a Nation Transformed: Modernity and Ideology in Wilson's Political Thought" by Gregory S. Butler; and "Are the Expectations for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Being Realized?" by Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

Additionally, the journal includes the articles "Contributions to Human Rights in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics" by Michael L. Westmoreland-White; "The Renovationist Movement in the Orthodox Church in the Light of Archival Documents" by Dimitry Pospielovsky; "Testing the Waters or Opening the Floodgates? Evangelicals, Politics, and the 'New' Mexico" by Paul J. Bonicelli; and "Christian Nationalism and Its Implications for Educational Philosophy" by William F. Cox Jr.

The journal also contains more than 25 book reviews, notes on church-state affairs and a calendar of events. The Journal of Church and State is published four times a year by the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor.

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