Cover image for Religious freedom : rights and liberties under the law
Religious freedom : rights and liberties under the law
Urofsky, Melvin I.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 411 pages ; 24 cm.
1. Introduction -- 2. Origins and developments -- 3. The establishment clause -- 4. The free exercise clause -- 5. Key people, cases, and events / James F. Van Orden -- 6. Documents.
Format :


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KF4783 .U76 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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

Author Notes

Melvin I. Urofsky is director of the doctoral program in public policy and professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Urofsky (history, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) presents a historical and analytical study of the constitutional right of religious freedom as elaborated in various US Supreme Court decisions. The judicial system is responsible for drawing guidelines and deciding conflicts between divergent opinions about separation of church and state. The original Constitution left many states with established churches but rejected any national establishment. In 1818 the first state barred the use of public funds for religious education; state courts recognized the principle of confessional confidentiality; and Sunday closing laws existed in all states. Only in 1947 did the federal Supreme Court rule that the establishment clause applied to the states. Urofsky sketches a series of complex Supreme Court decisions concerning state-enforced school prayer, Bible reading, and the expenditure of federal funds for private schools. The free exercise clause decisions arose in cases involving the Mormons and polygamy, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Flag Salute, and the Amish. The author concludes with a list of key people, cases, and events associated with religious policy. He provides brief selections from the vast array of available public documents on religion. A useful review of religious freedom for general readers and lower-division undergraduates. M. S. Power emeritus, Arkansas State University

Table of Contents

Al Wiseman and Daniel WisemanJames F. Van Order
Series Forewordp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
1 Introductionp. 1
Conclusionp. 16
Referencesp. 16
2 Origins and Developmentp. 19
Originsp. 20
Historyp. 24
Founding Principlesp. 28
The Constitutionp. 31
Developmentp. 34
Referencesp. 50
3 The Establishment Clausep. 53
Historical Originsp. 54
School Prayersp. 65
Evolution and Creationismp. 74
Aid to Parochial Schoolsp. 78
The Lemon Testp. 83
The Burger Court and School Aidp. 86
A Resurgence of Fundamentalismp. 91
Another Effort to Reinstate School Prayerp. 97
The Rehnquist Court and Accommodationp. 101
Conclusionp. 110
Referencesp. 111
4 The Free Exercise Clausep. 113
The Mormons and Polygamyp. 118
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Flag Salutep. 127
Finding an Accommodation for Religionp. 140
Conscientious Objectorsp. 145
Protecting the Amishp. 148
Native Americans in the Courtp. 151
The Religious Freedom Restoration Actp. 153
Conclusionp. 158
Notesp. 159
Referencesp. 159
5 Key People, Cases, and Eventsp. 163
6 Documentsp. 197
Virginia Rules on Conduct and Religion (1619)p. 197
Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution (1644)p. 200
Excerpts from Revolutionary-Era State Constitutions (1776-1784)p. 203
James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance" (1785)p. 212
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)p. 220
Northwest Ordinance (1787)p. 223
Argument of Counsel in Defense of Seal of Confession (1813)p. 224
Thomas Kennedy Seeking Equal Rights for Jews in Maryland (1818)p. 227
Joseph Story, "The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment" (1833)p. 229
John Tyler on the Know-Nothings (1854)p. 233
Reynolds v. United States (1879)p. 234
Alfred E. Smith on Catholicism and Patriotism (1927)p. 241
Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940)p. 245
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)p. 253
Everson v. Board of Education (1947)p. 263
Zorach v. Clauson (1952)p. 266
John F. Kennedy on Church and State (1960)p. 271
Engel v. Vitale (1962)p. 276
Sherbert v. Verner (1963)p. 282
Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)p. 291
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)p. 295
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)p. 301
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)p. 312
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)p. 316
Employment Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources v. Smith (1990)p. 324
Lee v. Weisman (1992)p. 330
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993)p. 340
Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (1995)p. 343
City of Boerne v. Flores (1997)p. 354
Agostini v. Felton (1997)p. 359
Chronologyp. 371
Table of Casesp. 373
Annotated Bibliographyp. 377
Indexp. 391
About the Authorp. 411