Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State

Author: Daniel Dreisbach
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814719368
Format: PDF, ePub
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No phrase in American letters has had a more profound influence on church-state law, policy, and discourse than Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state,” and few metaphors have provoked more passionate debate. Introduced in an 1802 letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, Jefferson’s “wall” is accepted by many Americans as a concise description of the U.S. Constitution’s church-state arrangement and conceived as a virtual rule of constitutional law. Despite the enormous influence of the “wall” metaphor, almost no scholarship has investigated the text of the Danbury letter, the context in which it was written, or Jefferson’s understanding of his famous phrase. Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State offers an in-depth examination of the origins, controversial uses, and competing interpretations of this powerful metaphor in law and public policy.

The Separation of Church and State

Author: Forrest Church
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807097071
Format: PDF, ePub
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Now in paperback, a primer of essential writings about one of the cornerstones of our democracy by the original authors of the Constitution, edited by preeminant liberal theologian Forrest Church. Americans will never stop debating the question of church-state separation, and such debates invariably lead back to the nation’s beginnings and the founders’ intent. The Separation of Church and State presents a basic collection of the founders’ teachings on this topic. This concise primer gets past the rhetoric that surrounds the current debate, placing the founders’ vivid writings on religious liberty in historical perspective. Edited and with running commentary by Forrest Church, this important collection informs anyone curious about the original blueprint for our country and its government. From the Trade Paperback edition.

America s Religions

Author: Peter W. Williams
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 025209770X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A classroom perennial and comprehensive guide, America's Religions lays out the background, beliefs, practices, and leaders of the nation's religious movements and denominations. The fourth edition, thoroughly revised and updated by Peter W. Williams, draws on the latest scholarship. In addition to reconsidering the history of America's mainline faiths, it delves into contemporary issues like religion's impact on politics and commerce; the increasingly high profile of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam; Mormonism's entry into the mainstream; and battles over gay marriage and ordination.

Separation of Church and State

Author: Frank Lambert
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780881464771
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Frank Lambert tackles the central claims of the Religious Right historians who insist that America was conceived as a Christian State, that modern-day liberals and secularists have distorted and/or ignored the place of religion in American history, and that the phrase the separation of church and state does not appear in any of the founding documents and is, therefore, a myth created by the Left. He discusses what separates bad history from good history, and concludes that the self-styled historians of the Religious Right create a useful past that enlists the nations founders on behalf of present-day conservative religious and political causes. Lambert believes that the most effective means of critiquing such misuse of history is sound historical investigation that considers all the evidence, not just that which supports an authors biases, and draws reasonable conclusions grounded in historical context.

Church State and Race

Author: Ryan P. Jordan
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761858121
Format: PDF
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Ryan P. Jordan uses the discourse of religious liberty to explore racial differences during an era of American empire building (1750–1900). This book seeks to destabilize the widespread assumption that the dominant American culture inevitably trends toward greater freedom in the realm of personal expression.

The Godless Constitution

Author: Isaac Kramnick
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393315240
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Refutes the claims of the religious right that America was founded as a Christian nation, and emphasizes that separation of church and state was designed to guarantee religious freedom

Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers

Author: Daniel L. Dreisbach
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199987939
Format: PDF, ePub
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No book was more accessible or familiar to the American founders than the Bible, and no book was more frequently alluded to or quoted from in the political discourse of the age. How and for what purposes did the founding generation use the Bible? How did the Bible influence their political culture? Shedding new light on some of the most familiar rhetoric of the founding era, Daniel Dreisbach analyzes the founders' diverse use of scripture, ranging from the literary to the theological. He shows that they looked to the Bible for insights on human nature, civic virtue, political authority, and the rights and duties of citizens, as well as for political and legal models to emulate. They quoted scripture to authorize civil resistance, to invoke divine blessings for righteous nations, and to provide the language of liberty that would be appropriated by patriotic Americans. Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers broaches the perennial question of whether the American founding was, to some extent, informed by religious-specifically Christian-ideas. In the sense that the founding generation were members of a biblically literate society that placed the Bible at the center of culture and discourse, the answer to that question is clearly "yes." Ignoring the Bible's influence on the founders, Dreisbach warns, produces a distorted image of the American political experiment, and of the concept of self-government on which America is built.

Religion and Political Culture in Jefferson s Virginia

Author: Garrett Ward Sheldon
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1461731372
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Religion and Political Culture in Jefferson's Virginia examines the influential statesmen and the political struggles in revolutionary Virginia that played a decisive role in developing a distinctive American approach to religious liberty and church-state relations. This collection of innovative essays by leading scholars profiles the Christian communities in Virginia, analyzes the religious philosophical influences of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and discusses the Virginian contributions to the American experiment in religious liberty. Religion and Political Culture in Jefferson's Virginia presents a fresh perspective on religion's role in Virginian and American political culture and provides a critical reassessment of the existing scholarship in the field.

Sworn on the Altar of God

Author: Edwin S. Gaustad
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802801562
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A biography of Jefferson focuses on the religious and spiritual influences on his life, and describes his own beliefs about religion.