Sincerely Held: American Secularism and Its Believers
April 13, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
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“Sincerely held religious belief” is now a common phrase in discussions of American religious freedom, from opinions handed down by the US Supreme Court to local controversies. The “sincerity test” of religious belief has become a cornerstone of US jurisprudence, framing what counts as legitimate grounds for First Amendment claims in the eyes of the law. Join Charles McCrary, author of Sincerely Held, for a discussion of how sincerely held religious belief became the primary standard for determining what legally counts as authentic religion.
Dr. McCrary is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and author of Sincerely Held: American Secularism and its Believers, a novel account of the relationship between sincerity, religious freedom, and the secular in the United States. This fresh analysis of secularism in the United States invites further reflection on the role of sincerity in public life and religious studies scholarship, asking why sincerity has come to matter so much in a supposedly “post-truth” era.