Cover image for Equal treatment of religion in a pluralistic society
Equal treatment of religion in a pluralistic society
Monsma, Stephen V., 1936-
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, [1998]

Physical Description:
vi, 211 pages ; 23 cm
Introduction : Equal treatment and societal pluralism -- Equal treatment : its constitutional states / Carl H. Esbeck -- Equal treatment and religious discrimination / Michael W. McConnell -- The theoretical roots of equal treatment / James W. Skillen -- What would equal treatment mean for public education? / Charles L. Glenn -- Equal treatment : implications for nonprofit organizations / Robert A. Destro -- Equal treatment : a Christian separationist perspective / Derek H. Davis -- American Jews and the equal treatment principle / Gregg Ivers -- "Equal" treatment? : a liberal separationist view / Rogers M. Smith -- Conclusion : The implications of equal treatment.
Reading Level:
1560 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4865 .E68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Few areas of public policy in the United States are as politically contentious and legally confusing as church-state relations. And today the traditional view of a strict separation of church and state is being further confused by increasing levels of religious pluralism. This timely book provides the first analysis of a new paradigm for discussing church-state relations -- equal treatment, also sometimes referred to as neutrality -- that has growing popularity in Congress and has recently been used in several Supreme Court rulings. Ten leading scholars of constitutional law and political science trace the development of equal treatment theory, consider its implications for public policy and church-state relations, and evaluate it from a number of ideological perspectives.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This collection of essays explores the equal treatment interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The equal treatment interpretation holds that all groups, religious and secular, should have the same access to government aid, particularly in the areas of education and the delivery of social services. It justifies equal treatment by defining secular systems of belief as effectively equal to religious belief systems. The secular seems to be treated as a residual category, i.e. that which is not religious is secular. The argument contrasts equal treatment with the strict separation interpretation, in which the government does not aid religion in any way. The volume's eight essays are bracketed by an introduction and a conclusion. Although the editors frankly favor the equal treatment interpretation, they provide some balance to the book by including three chapters (6, 7, and 8) by critics of the equal treatment interpretation. In general, the essays are reader friendly and not unnecessarily technical. The authors are, for the most part, established scholars in their fields. Each essay is preceded by a brief paragraph describing the topic and the professional background of the essayist. Recommended for all collections. C. Barner-Barry; University of Maryland Baltimore County

Table of Contents

Introduction Equal Treatment and Societal Pluralismp. 1
Chapter 1 Equal Treatment: Its Constitutional Statusp. 9
Chapter 2 Equal Treatment and Religious Discriminationp. 30
Chapter 3 the Theoretical Roots of Equal Treatmentp. 55
Chapter 4 What Would Equal Treatment Mean for Public Education?p. 75
Chapter 5 Equal Treatment: Implications for Nonprofit Organizationsp. 101
Chapter 6 Equal Treatment: a Christian Separationist Perspectivep. 136
Chapter 7 American Jews and the Equal Treatment Principlep. 158
Chapter 8 """"Equal"""" Treatment? a Liberal Separationist Viewp. 179
Conclusion the Implications of Equal Treatmentp. 200