- 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
From the time of Augustine to the time of John Locke, the separation of the church and state has been a much-advocated precept. However, in spite of the call for the separation of church and state, for nearly two millennia, civil states supported ecclesiastical establishments where established churches looked upon the state to suppress religious dissent and rival institutions. This article focuses on the competing views on the separation of church and state. It focuses on the two phrases that have been frequently used in the American church–state discourse: “separation of church and state” and “wall of separation between church and state.” The article discusses the promises of this separationist rhetoric and the perils posed by this figurative language in the understanding of the constitutional relationships and principles between church and state.
Daniel L. Dreisbach is Professor of Justice, Law and Society in the School of Public Affairs at American University, Washington, D.C. He received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. He has authored or edited seven books, including Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State (2002) and The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding (2009) (coeditor). Dr. Dreisbach has published numerous book chapters, reviews, and articles in scholarly journals, including American Journal of Legal History, Constitutional Commentary, Emory Law Journal, Journal of Church and State, North Carolina Law Review, and William and Mary Quarterly.
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