Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Murray, Bruce T.

Title Religious liberty in America : the First Amendment in historical and contemporary perspective / Bruce T. Murray
Published Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press in association with Foundation for American Communications, [2008]
Online access available from:
JSTOR eBooks    View Resource Record  
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xvi, 213 pages)
Contents From revival to religious liberty -- Understanding people of faith -- With "God on our side"? : American civil religion -- Finding the common threads of religious liberty -- Religious liberty in public schools -- Transforming lives and transforming government : faith-based initiatives -- Beyond the "wall of separation" : the Supreme Court and the First Amendment
Summary From the Publisher: In recent years a series of highly publicized controversies has focused attention on what are arguably the sixteen most important words in the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The ongoing court battles over the inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the now annual cultural quarrel over "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays," and the political promotion of "faith-based initiatives" to address social problems-all reflect competing views of the meaning of the religious liberty clauses of the First Amendment. Such disputes, as Bruce T. Murray shows, are nothing new. For more than two hundred years Americans have disagreed about the proper role of religion in public life and where to draw the line between church and state. In this book, he reexamines these debates and distills the volumes of commentary and case law they have generated. He analyzes not only the changing contours of religious freedom but also the phenomenon of American civil religion, grounded in the notion that the nation's purpose is sanctified by a higher authority-an idea that can be traced back to the earliest New England colonists and remains deeply ingrained in the American psyche. Throughout the book, Murray connects past and present, tracing the historical roots of contemporary controversies. He considers why it is that a country founded on the separation of church and state remains singularly religious among nations, and concludes by showing how the Supreme Court's thinking about the religious liberty clauses has evolved since the late eighteenth century
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 171-198) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Description based on print version record
Subject Church and state -- United States -- History.
Church and state -- United States.
Civil religion -- United States -- History.
Civil religion -- United States.
Freedom of religion -- United States -- History.
Freedom of religion -- United States.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1558496378 (cloth : alk. paper)
1558496386 (paperback: alk. paper)
1613761406 electronic bk
9781558496378 (cloth : alk. paper)
9781558496385 (paperback: alk. paper)
9781613761403 electronic bk