A New York Times Notable Book This remarkable work offers a fresh approach to a freedom that is often taken for granted in the United States, yet is one of the strongest and proudest elements of American culture: religious freedom. In this compellingly written, distinctively personal book, Judge John T. Noonan asserts that freedom of religion, as James Madison conceived it, is an American invention previously unknown to any nation on earth. The Lustre of Our Country demonstrates how the idea of religious liberty is central to the American experience and to American influence around the world. Noonan's original book is a history of the idea of religious liberty and its relationship with the law. He begins with an intellectual autobiography, describing his own religious and legal training. After setting the stage with autobiography, Noonan turns to history, with each chapter written in a new voice. One chapter takes the form of a catechism (questions and answers), presenting the history of the idea of religious freedom in Christianity and the American colonies. Another chapter on James Madison argues that Madison's support of religious freedom was not purely secular but rather the outcome of his own religious beliefs. A fictional sister of Alexis de Toqueville writes, contrary to her brother's work, that the U.S. government is very closely tied to religion. Other chapters offer straightforward considerations of constitutional law. Throughout the book, Noonan shows how the free exercise of religion led to profound changes in American law—he discusses abolition, temperance, and civil rights—and how the legal notion of religious liberty influenced revolutionary France, Japan, and Russia, as well as the Catholic Church during Vatican II. The Lustre of Our Country is a celebration of religious freedom—a personal and profound statement on what the author considers America's greatest moral contribution to the world.
The American Experience of Religious Freedom
Author: John T. Noonan Jr.
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"Noonan discusses how the concept of property, applied to a person, is a perfect mask since no trace of human identity remains. An auction of slaves in Virginia, the takeover of a banana plantation in Costa Rica, and an accident on the Long Island Railroad are the famous cases involving these four legal giants. The stories of the litigations at three different periods of our history provide a powerful analysis of American law. Breaking through the formalism in which jurisprudence is often enshrined, Noonan offers a compelling vision of law and a potent call for reform in the education and behavior of lawyers."--BOOK JACKET.
Cardozo, Holmes, Jefferson, and Wythe as Makers of the Masks
Author: John Thomas Noonan
Publisher: Univ of California Press
The law professor exposes the Supreme Court's systematic unraveling of Federal power since the Reagan administration, revealing its role in transfering power to the states. (Politics & Government)
The Supreme Court Sides with the States
Author: John T. Noonan
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Noonan's 1985 casebook situated the text of the First Amendment Religion Clause firmly within its larger historical context. In the eighteenth century American rebellion against monarchy, free exercise of religion was a rallying cry as familiar and as central as no taxation without representation. No coerced support of a distant crown nor an established church. Noonan and Gaffney enable students to read the Court's cases with the insight that the two provisions on religion in the First Amendment are not in conflict with one another, but are equally important ways of saying the same thing. In the second edition, which Foundation Press published under the title Religious Freedom: History, Cases, and Other Materials on the Interaction of Religion and Government in 2001, the principal changes were insertions of new cases decided by the Supreme Court into PART THREE of the book. Gaffney's Third Edition now includes biblical texts that form the predicate for themes explored later in the book. The most significant change is material about emperor worship that is directly relevant to the experience of sporadic persecution described in Chapter Two and to the core religious value of refusal to worship the State that recurs throughout all of the other chapters of this volume. Chapter Two fills in the prior gap between the New Testament (end of the first century of the common era) and St. Augustine (beginning of fifth century CE). In Chapter Three there is more contextualization of St. Augustine's approval of mild coercion of the Donatist heretics in North Africa by Roman imperial officials, and a new treatment of Augustine's strong rejection of efforts to convert Jews to Christianity or to coerce them in matters of faith, and
History, Cases, and Other Materials on the Interaction of Religion and Government
Author: John Thomas Noonan,Edward McGlynn Gaffney
Publisher: Foundation Press
Study of church and state in the United States is incredibly complex. Scholars working in this area have backgrounds in law, religious studies, history, theology, and politics, among other fields. Historically, they have focused on particular angles or dimensions of the church-state relationship, because the field is so vast. The results have mostly been monographs that focus only on narrow cross-sections of the field, and the few works that do aim to give larger perspectives are reference works of factual compendia, which offer little or no analysis. The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States fills this gap, presenting an extensive, multidimensional overview of the field. Twenty-one essays offer a scholarly look at the intricacies and past and current debates that frame the American system of church and state, within five main areas: history, law, theology/philosophy, politics, and sociology. These essays provide factual accounts, but also address issues, problems, debates, controversies, and, where appropriate, suggest resolutions. They also offer analysis of the range of interpretations of the subject offered by various American scholars. This Handbook is an invaluable resource for the study of church-state relations in the United States.
Author: Derek H. Davis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Whether America was founded as a Christian nation or as a secular republic is one of the most fiercely debated questions in American history. Historians Matthew Harris and Thomas Kidd offer an authoritative examination of the essential documents needed to understand this debate. The texts included in this volume - writings and speeches from both well-known and obscure early American thinkers - show that religion played a prominent yet fractious role in the era of the American Revolution. In their personal beliefs, the Founders ranged from profound skeptics like Thomas Paine to traditional Christians like Patrick Henry. Nevertheless, most of the Founding Fathers rallied around certain crucial religious principles, including the idea that people were "created" equal, the belief that religious freedom required the disestablishment of state-backed denominations, the necessity of virtue in a republic, and the role of Providence in guiding the affairs of nations. Harris and Kidd show that through the struggles of war and the framing of the Constitution, Americans sought to reconcile their dedication to religious vitality with their commitment to religious freedom.
A History in Documents
Author: Matthew Harris,Thomas Kidd
Publisher: OUP USA
In an age of terrorism and other forms of violence committed in the name of religion, how can religion become a vehicle for peace, justice, and reconciliation? And in a world of bitter conflicts-many rooted in religious difference-how can communities of faith understand one another?The essays in this important book take bold steps forward to answering these questions. The fruit of a historic conference of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars and community leaders, the essays address a fundamental question: how the three monotheistic traditions can provide the resources needed in the work of justice and reconciliation.Two distinguished scholars represent each tradition. Rabbis Irving Greenberg and Reuven Firestone each examine the relationship of Judaism to violence, exploring key sources and the history of power, repentance, and reconciliation. From Christianity, philosopher Charles Taylor explores the religious dimensions of "categorical" violence against other faiths, other groups, while Scott Appleby traces the emergence since Vatican II of nonviolence as a foundation of Catholic theology and practice. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia, discusses Muslim support of pluralism and human rights, and Mohamed Fathi Osman examines the relationship between political violence and sacred sources in contemporary Islam.By focusing on transformative powers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the essays in this book provide new beginnings for people of faith committed to restoring peace among nations through peace among religions.
Religious Sources of Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Author: James Heft
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
Category: Political Science
This book questions what practices constitute a "religious activity" such that it cannot be supported or funded by government. It examines the history of accommodating laws when there is tension between respecting religious freedom and maintaining First Amendment requirements that government be neutral.
Accomodation and Its Limits
Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Terrorists and peacemakers may grow up in the same community and adhere to the same religious tradition. The killing carried out by one and the reconciliation fostered by the other indicate the range of dramatic and contradictory responses to human suffering by religious actors. This book explains what religious terrorists and religious peacemakers share in common, what causes them to take different paths in fighting injustice, and how a deeper understanding of religious extremism can and must be integrated more effectively into our thinking about tribal, regional, and international conflict.
Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation
Author: R. Scott Appleby
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Political Science
This volume provides in a single source a thorough grounding in the origin, development, and current controversies surrounding the free practice of religion. * Four chapters discuss the development of religious freedom from its roots in tribal societies through key court decisions of the 1990s * A chronology outlines significant events and court decisions from 1776 to 2001, and a table lists all of the pertinent cases alphabetically
Rights and Liberties Under the Law
Author: Melvin I. Urofsky
James Madison is remembered primarily as a systematic political theorist, but this bookish and unassuming man was also a practical politician who strove for balance in an age of revolution. In this biography, Jeff Broadwater focuses on Madison's role in the battle for religious freedom in Virginia, his contributions to the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, his place in the evolution of the party system, his relationship with Dolley Madison, his performance as a wartime commander in chief, and his views on slavery. From Broadwater's perspective, no single figure can tell us more about the origins of the American republic than our fourth president. In these pages, Madison emerges as a remarkably resilient politician, an unlikely wartime leader who survived repeated setbacks in the War of 1812 with his popularity intact. Yet Broadwater shows that despite his keen intelligence, the more Madison thought about one issue, race, the more muddled his thinking became, and his conviction that white prejudices were intractable prevented him from fully grappling with the dilemma of American slavery.
A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation
Author: Jeff Broadwater
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
This book brings together leading international scholars of law and religion to provide an overview of current issues in State-religion relations. The first part of the collection offers a picture of recent developments in key countries and regions. The second part is focused on Europe and, in particular, on the Nordic States and the post-communist countries where State-religion systems have undergone most profound change. The third and final part is devoted to four issues that are currently debated all over the world: the relations between freedom of expression and freedom of religion; proselytism and the right to change religion; the religious symbols; and the legal status of Islam in Europe and Canada. The work will be a valuable resource for academics, students and policy-makers with an interest in the interaction between law and religion.
Relations between States and Religious Communities
Author: Dr Rinaldo Cristofori,Professor Silvio Ferrari
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Following landmark trade agreements between Japan and the United States in the 1850s, Tokyo began importing a unique American commodity: Western social activism. As Japan sought to secure its future as a commercial power and American women pursued avenues of political expression, Protestant church-women and, later, members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) traveled to the Asian coast to promote Christian teachings and women's social activism. Rumi Yasutake reveals in Transnational Women's Activism that the resulting American, Japanese, and first generation Japanese-American women's movements came to affect more than alcohol or even religion. While the WCTU employed the language of evangelism and Victorian family values, its members were tactfully expedient in accommodating their traditional causes to suffrage and other feminist goals, in addition to the various political currents flowing through Japan and the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century. Exploring such issues as gender struggles in the American Protestant church and bourgeois Japanese women's attitudes towards the "pleasure class" of geishas and prostitutes, Yasutake illuminates the motivations and experiences of American missionaries, U.S. WCTU workers, and their Japanese protégés. The diverse machinations of WCTU activism offer a compelling lesson in the complexities of cultural imperialism.
A Critical Anthology
Author: Stephen M. Feldman
Publisher: NYU Press
Questions of religious freedom continue to excite passionate public debate. Proposals involving school prayer and the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools and courtrooms perennially spur controversy. But there is also a sense that the prevailing discourse is exhausted, that no one seems to know how to think about religious freedom in a way that moves beyond our stale, counterproductive thinking on this issue. In Getting over Equality, Steven D. Smith, one of the most important voices now writing about religious liberty, provocatively contends that we must get over our presumptionmistakenly believed to be rooted in the Constitutionthat all religions are equally true and virtuous and "authentically American." Smith puts forth an alternative view, that the courts should promote an ideal of tolerance rather than equality and neutrality. Examining such controversial examples as the animal sacrifice case, the peyote case, and the problem of aid to parochial schools, Smith delineates a way for us to tolerate and respect contrary creeds without sacrificing or diluting our own beliefsand without pretending to believe in a spurious "equality" among the variety of diverse faiths.
A Critical Diagnosis of Religious Freedom in America
Author: Steven D. Smith
Publisher: NYU Press
Controversial Supreme Court decisions have barred organized school prayer, but neither the Court nor public policy exclude religion from schools altogether. In this book, one of America's leading constitutional scholars asks what role religion ought to play in public schools. Kent Greenawalt explores many of the most divisive issues in educational debate, including teaching about the origins of life, sex education, and when--or whether--students can opt out of school activities for religious reasons. Using these and other case studies, Greenawalt considers how to balance the country's constitutional commitment to personal freedoms and to the separation of church and state with the vital role that religion has always played in American society. Do we risk distorting students' understanding of America's past and present by ignoring religion in public-school curricula? When does teaching about religion cross the line into the promotion of religion? Tracing the historical development of religion within public schools and considering every major Supreme Court case, Greenawalt concludes that the bans on school prayer and the teaching of creationism are justified, and that the court should more closely examine such activities as the singing of religious songs and student papers on religious topics. He also argues that students ought to be taught more about religion--both its contributions and shortcomings--especially in courses in history. To do otherwise, he writes, is to present a seriously distorted picture of society and indirectly to be other than neutral in presenting secularism and religion. Written with exemplary clarity and even-handedness, this is a major book about some of the most pressing and contentious issues in educational policy and constitutional law today.
Author: Kent Greenawalt
Publisher: Princeton University Press
A portrait of one of the founding fathers of Western religious philosophy, challenging misconceptions concerning his early hedonistic life and his influential interpretations of Christian doctrine
A Penguin Life
Author: Garry Wills
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character. He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature. American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Aristocrat. Catholic. Patriot. Founder. Before his death in 1832, Charles Carroll of Carrollton—the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence—was widely regarded as one of the most important Founders. Today, Carroll’s signal contributions to the American Founding are overlooked, but the fascinating new biography American Cicero rescues Carroll from unjust neglect. Drawing on his considerable study of Carroll’s published and unpublished writings, historian Bradley J. Birzer masterfully captures a man of supreme intellect, imagination, integrity, and accomplishment. Born a bastard, Carroll nonetheless became the best educated (and wealthiest) Founder. The Marylander’s insight, Birzer shows, allowed him to recognize the necessity of independence from Great Britain well before most other Founders. Indeed, Carroll’s analysis of the situation in the colonies in the run-up to the Revolution was original and brilliant—yet almost all historians have ignored it. Reflecting his classical and liberal education, the man who would be called “The Last of the Romans” advocated a proper understanding of the American Revolution as deeply rooted in the Western tradition. Carroll even left his mark on the U.S. Constitution despite not assuming his elected position to the Constitutional Convention: by inspiring the creation of the U.S. Senate. American Cicero ably demonstrates how Carroll’s Catholicism was integral to his thought. Oppressed because of his faith—Maryland was the most anti-Catholic of the original thirteen colonies—Carroll became the only Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence and helped legitimize Catholicism in the young American republic. What’s more, Birzer brilliantly reassesses the most controversial aspects of Charles Carroll: his aristocratic position and his critiques of democracy. As Birzer shows, Carroll’s fears of extreme democracy had ancient and noble roots, and his arguments about the dangers of democracy influenced Alexis de Tocqueville’s magisterial work Democracy in America. American Cicero reveals why Founders such as John Adams assumed that Charles Carroll would one day be considered among the greats—and also why history has largely forgotten him.
The Life of Charles Carroll
Author: Bradley J. Birzer
Publisher: Open Road Media
Category: Biography & Autobiography
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
Author: Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House