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date: 03 August 2020

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.

Keywords: sociological account, religious clauses, First Amendment, church–state relations, issues of establishment, free exercise, cultural exceptions, structural exceptions, politics, state

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