Cover image for A wall of separation? : debating the public role of religion
A wall of separation? : debating the public role of religion
Segers, Mary C.
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Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [1998]

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xx, 191 pages ; 24 cm.
pt. 1. Debating the public role of religion. In defense of religious minimalism / Ted G. Jelen -- In defense of religious freedom / Mary C. Segers -- pt. 2. Readings. Thomas Jefferson, reply to Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1801 -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1781-1782 -- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, 1786 -- James Madison, "A memorial and remonstrance on the religious rights of man, " 1784 -- U.S. Constitution, First Amendment, 1791 -- U.S. Constitution, Article VI, 1787 -- John F. Kennedy, "Remarks on church and state, " delivered to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12, 1960 -- Mario M. Cumo, "Religious belief and public morality : a Catholic governor's perspective, " address at the University of Notre Dame, September 13, 1984 -- Selected Supreme Court cases : Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) -- Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) -- Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990).
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BL2525 .S44 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Should the wall of separation between church and state be permeable or inviolable? This work debates the impact organized religion has had on the democratic process, examines its influence on political discourse, and discusses its significance for the creation of public policy.

Author Notes

Mary C. Segers is professor of political science at Rutgers University.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Political scientists Segers and Jelen offer two excellent essays on freedom of religion, presenting the separationist and accommodationist views, along with an introductory essay putting the arguments in perspective. Carefully and clearly argued, this thoughtful, exhaustive, and provocative consideration of church-state and religion-politics in our liberal democracy is a model of civil discourse. A primary focus is on the role of religion in government and politics historically, now, and ideally. Invaluable are classic readings on the issue, three from Thomas Jefferson ("Reply to Danbury Baptists", "Notes on Virginia", and "Virginia Statute on Religious Liberty"); James Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance"; the 1960 John F. Kennedy statement in Houston; Mario Cuomo's 1984 talk at Notre Dame University; and extensive excerpts from three key US Supreme Court decisions (Everson v. Board of Education, Lemon v. Kurtzman, and Employment Division v. Smith); plus the First Amendment and the "no religious test" part of Article VI of the US Constitution. The readings make up one-third of the book. This volume is part of a debate series that includes arguments on the electoral college and the two-party political system. The essays are heavily documented and include useful bibliographies. Highly recommended for public, college, and university libraries. L. E. Noble Jr. emeritus, Clark Atlanta University