Please note: UC Press e-books must be purchased separately from our print books, and require the use of Adobe Digital Editions. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer, please download and install the software. To complete your e-book order, please click on the e-book checkout button. A charge will appear on your credit card from Ingram Digital Group.
“Meta-Religion is a tour de force. This bracing account of the intertwining of religion and empire across world history is not only a useful tool for classroom use; it is also, in itself, a significant scholarly contribution. In compelling, accessible prose, the author traces the history of imperial religion and the political uses of religion—from the Greeks to the post-9/11 world—while also examining post-Enlightenment pieties about our own purportedly secular era. The comparative and global scope make this an ideal textbook for courses in world history or global religions, of course, but also for classes in European and U.S. history and politics, where a broader perspective is often sorely needed. Laine’s startling conclusion, that the ways in which modern multicultural societies contend with pluralism are not so new or politically innocent as we might believe, will stimulate readers to reconsider their own pious certainties and the nature of belief itself.” —Katrina Olds, Professor of History at the University of San Francisco and author of Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain
“This is a challenging and sophisticated revisioning of the standard ‘introduction to world religions’ textbook. Covering a broad sweep of time and place, the book takes seriously a society’s actual ‘world building,’ of which religions are a central part, and describes well how they are managed by the state.”—Andrew O. Fort, Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University
“In Meta-Religion, James Laine offers an original and provocative exploration of religion and power, and he brings to light the unspoken assumptions behind the modern concept of religion. With its global scope and fascinating examples, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what religion is really about.”—Carl W. Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill