- Introduction: Religious Pluralism as the Essential Foundation of America’s Quest for Unity and Order
- The Founding Era (1774–1797) and the Constitutional Provision for Religion
- Eighteenth-Century Religious Liberty: The Founding Generation’s Protestant-Derived Understanding
- Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America
- Religious Advocacy by American Religious Institutions: A History
- Constitutional Language and Judicial Interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause
- The U.S. Supreme Court and Non-First Amendment Religion Cases
- The Meaning of the Separation of Church and State: Competing Views
- Managed Pluralism: The Emerging Church–State Model in the United States?
- Religious Liberty and Religious Minorities in the United States
- Religious Symbols and Religious Expression in the Public Square
- Religious Liberty as a Democratic Institution
- Pursuit of the Moral Good and the Church–State Conundrum in the United States: The Politics of Sexual Orientation
- Monitoring and Surveillance of Religious Groups in the United States
- The U.S. Congress: Protecting and Accommodating Religion
- The Christian Right and Church–State Issues
- American Religious Liberty in International Perspective
- Supply-side Changes in American Religion: Exploring The Implications of Church–State Relations
- Peeking through Jefferson’s Relocated Wall: A Sociological Assessment of U.S. Church–State Relations
- The Role of Civil Religion in American Society
- The Interplay of Law, Religion, and Politics in the United States
- Historical Perspectives
- Constitutional Perspectives
- The States and Religious Freedom
- Theological and Philosophical Perspectives
- Religious Pluralism
- Ethics and Values
- Political Perspectives
- Sociological Perspectives
- Table of Cases
Abstract and Keywords
In the early twenty-first century, the political role of religion is central in the United States and the world. This rise in the political role of religion is seen in the politically assertive Islam, the emergence of permissible limitations on religious liberty, and the significance of religion in political discourses such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and other issues. This article discusses the contributions of religious liberty to democracy. It discusses the role of religious liberty in facilitating the self-governance of citizens living in democratic systems, with particular emphasis on democracy as self-governance. The article does not intend to discuss theological claims; rather, it provides a direct discussion of constitutional interpretation. The intention is not to discuss constitutional or human rights in relation to the role of religious liberty in democracy, but to assess the consequences of religious liberty for the practice of democratic governance.
Ted G. Jelen is Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His main research interests are in public opinion, religion and politics, feminism, and the politics of abortion. He is a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and now serves as the coeditor of the journal Politics and Religion. Dr. Jelen has published extensively in the area of religion and politics, and in church-state relations. His publications include To Serve God and Mammon: Church-State Relations in the United States, 2nd ed. (Westview, 2010); The Political World of the Clergy (Praeger, 1993); and The Political Mobilization of Religious Beliefs (Praeger, 1991).
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