Bellagio Library/

Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe

by James T. Richardson

James T. Richardson participated in the Bellagio residency program in 2001. During this residency he worked on Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe (Springer, 2004). James is Emeritus Foundation Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.

A few words with James

“The volume was the result of many years of research around the world where I also encountered many other scholars who were eventually included in the book. I started putting the volume together while at the Bellagio Center after spending months in Europe gathering more information and also contacting other potential contributors.

“The volume was a labor of love, but the chapters by non-English speakers were very challenging, as I had to do considerable work on language usage.”


Regulating Religion presents, through the inclusion of contributions by international scholars, a global examination of how a number of contemporary societies are regulating religious groups. It focuses on legal efforts to exert social control over such groups, especially through court cases, but also with selected major legislative attempts to regulate them. As such, this analysis falls within the broad area of the sociology of social control and more specifically, legal social control, a topic of great interest when studying how contemporary societies attempt to maintain social order.

The factual details about social and legal developments in societies where religion has been defined as problematic include Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. This book will be of interest to researchers and students in the sociology of religion, the sociology of law, social policy, and religious studies as well as policy makers.

Explore More

To find out more about James’s work, you can visit his University of Nevada profile. You can also read an abstract of the book with Cambridge University Press.