- 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
This article provides a sociological account of the First Amendment's religious clauses' past, present, and future. It discusses the First Amendment religion clause in global perspective; where it stands in comparison with similar documents and practices in other countries; what it intended; how it has been implemented; and where it is heading. The article also discusses American church–state relations under four rubrics: the issues of establishment versus free exercise; the cultural exceptions versus structural exceptions; the separation in politics versus the state; and the politics within the state. It ends with an illustration of the recent developments in the definition of religion that may change the character of future American church–state relations.
N.J. Demerath III is the Emile Durkheim Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he has served since 1972. During that time, he has had visiting professorships at Harvard University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the London School of Economics, and Yale University. He is a past-President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and the Eastern Sociological Society. Dr. Demerath’s publications include such recent books as A Bridging of Faiths: Religion and Politics in a New England City (Princeton, 1992); Sacred Companies: Organizational Aspects of Religion and Religious Aspects of Organizations, Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics (Rutgers, 2001); Sacred Circles and Public Squares: The Multi-Centering of American Religion (Indiana, 2004); and the Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion (Sage, 2007).
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