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This Advanced Introduction explores the difficulty of defining religion and the subsequent impact this has on creating laws which regulate and protect it. Taking a global comparative approach, Frank S. Ravitch guides the reader through how this unique interaction plays out in differing legal systems including in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Providing further context by contrasting specific case studies, the book provides a rounded and coherent exploration of the complexities of law in relation to religion.

There are many people whom I would like to thank for their support and advice during the writing and production of this book: my wife Chika and my daughters Elysha and Ariana, whose brilliance, thoughtfulness, and love make life brighter and add balance to everything I do; my parents, Carl and Arline Ravitch, who are a source of constant support and love, and who are an inspiration for all three of their children; my late Bubby and Pop Pop, who are always close to my heart, and who embodied all that is best in religion and in law, without being lawyers or overtly religious; my sisters Sharon and Elizabeth and their families; my Uncle Gary and Aunt Mindy and my Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ken, who have been exceptionally supportive of all my work, and who each in their own way have an interest in law and/or religion.

I am grateful to the Michigan State University College of Law, which supported some of my work on this book with a summer research grant, and to Jane Meland, Hildur Hannah, and the staff of the Michigan State University College of Law Library for their help and support, as well as Dean Linda Greene who has been exceptionally supportive of faculty research and publications. I am also grateful to Stephen Harries, Fiona Todd, Kirsty Barker, and Katherine King at Edward Elgar Publishing for inviting me to write this book and bringing it to fruition.p. x