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Religion Religion, Politics & State

Faith or Fraud

Fortune-Telling, Spirituality, and the Law

by (author) Jeremy Patrick

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
Religion, Politics & State, Legal History
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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The growing presence in Western society of non-mainstream faiths and spiritual practices poses a dilemma for the law. Building on a thorough history of the legal regulation of fortune-telling laws in four countries, Faith or Fraud examines the impact of people who identify as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) on the future legal understanding of religious freedom. Unlike SBNR belief systems that can encompass multiple religions, philosophies, and folklore, traditional legal interpretations of “freedom of religion” are based on organized religion and are ultimately shown to have failed to evolve along with ideas about religion itself.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Jeremy Patrick is a lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia, where he also convenes the law, religion, and heritage research program team. His work on religious freedom, the separation of church and state, blasphemous libel and similar topics can be found in journals such as the Journal of Law and Religion, the University of British Columbia Law Review, and the University of Queensland Law Journal.

Editorial Reviews

As a detailed history of the debates over fortune-telling in four different countries, and as an argument for the expansion of religious freedom law to include this kind of practice, Faith orFraud makes a valuable contribution to the field

Nova Religio