Cover image for Religion and American law : an encyclopedia
Religion and American law : an encyclopedia
Finkelman, Paul, 1949-
Publication Information:
New York : Garland Pub., [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 601 pages ; 26 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4783.A68 R45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Paul Finkelmanis the John Seiberling Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Akron College of Law. He has written or edited more than a dozen books and more than sixty scholarly articles and lectured on American Constitutional law throughout the United States as well as in Europe and South America.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The American legal system continually defines and refines the delicate relationship between church and state. This timely volume from the reputable Garland Reference Library of the Humanities series is an alphabetically arranged encyclopedia, carefully edited and authoritatively written, with entries covering a range of issues, events, and people related to the constitutionally protected rights of religious freedom. The 100 contributing writers are all professionally distinguished and associated with solid academic institutions. Precisely written entries are signed and include both lengthy bibliographies and "cases cited" listings when appropriate. Coverage ranges from colonial times to contemporary Supreme Court decisions. Within this broad scope, the text discusses representative themes without losing thoroughness. Rulings are analyzed, theories are considered, and biographical details are supplied. Among the entries are Black churches in the antebellum South, Blasphemy in American law, The Good Samaritan, Jefferson and religion, Labor law and religion, and Sunday regulations in the nineteenth century. There are substantive discussions of individual religious traditions, relevant legal decisions, and a number of Supreme Court justices. Most entries are at least a page in length; longer ones, such as School prayer, run to more than five pages. The encyclopedia concludes with a helpful index of cases and a subject index, the value of which is diminished by the fact that it supplies only page numbers (more than 200 page numbers are listed under First Amendment, for example). This title takes a more scholarly and historical approach than another recent volume, ABC-CLIO's Religion and the Law [RBB Jl 00], which focuses mainly on current issues. Religion and American Law is recommended for academic and large public library reference collections.

Choice Review

This primer and dictionary of a topic of increasing interest to both general readers and lawyers will be useful for a broad audience. Written by practitioners, law students, and legal scholars, the style and content of entries range from straightforward briefs of important or well-known cases and syntheses of case law to brief explorations of some topics in jurisprudence and religion. Entries include important decisions of US courts, documents relevant to religious liberty, legal and US history, biographical sketches of jurists, definitions, and brief histories of some religions and churches. Short bibliographies and case citations follow each entry. Included are a list of contributors, index of cases, and subject matter index. Given the breadth of the selection of entries, it is not surprising that in 600 pages coverage of many topics is omitted or tangential. Future editions will be more useful if they expand the number of entries and the depth of discussion and analysis. An index of entries by contributors would be helpful. Recommended for undergraduate and graduate libraries. H. Leskovac; University of the District of Columbia

Table of Contents

A Sampling Of The Coverage: Atheism and Agnosticism
Black Churches in the Antebellum South
Barron v. Baltimore
William Brennan
Cantwell v. Connecticut
Church Property after the American Revolution
Cleveland v. United States
Cults and the Law
Drugs, Religion, and the Law
Flag Salute Cases
Hawaiian Native Religion and American Law
""In God We Trust""
Jefferson and Religion
Labor Law and Religion
John Leland
Maryland Toleration Act (1649)
McCollum v. Board of Education