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Abstract

This Note examines what may be the most radical challenge posed by religious subcultures to the liberal politics of modern industrial nations that of isolationist, nonliberal (or even illiberal) religious minorities. These subcultures do not seek to integrate with mainstream society or gain power within it, but to withdraw in order to maintain norms widely discrepant from those that are socially dominant. They often seek to place restrictions upon their own members' freedom or activities, in part to maintain the group's differences from the greater society. These cultures, characterized by features as distinctive as collective property ownership, pacificism, and the rejection of the separation of church and state, pose a serious challenge to liberalism's self-understanding and the norms of liberal tolerance.

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