Looking for something to read? In our ‘Book Talk’ series, our experts discuss their book projects and why you should read them. In this episode, Associate Professor David Smith talks through his research on religious persecution in the United States, the role of religion in politics, and ideas of political order, social cohesion and American identity.

Why does a country that sees religious freedom as central to its founding have such a painful history with religious persecution? How does the US experience compare with what we’ve seen in Australia? Where is the United States today on the spectrum of religious persecution and protection? 

Associate Professor Smith’s 2015 book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press. 

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Produced by Elliott Brennan