The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-state Relations in the American Founding
The Sacred Rights of Conscience provides students and scholars a rich collection of primary sources that illuminate the discussions and debates about religious liberty in the American founding era. This compilation of primary documents provides a thorough and balanced examination of the evolving relationship between public religion and American culture, from pre-colonial biblical and European sources to the early nineteenth century, to allow the reader to explore the social and political forces that defined the concept of religious liberty and shaped American church-state relations.
Including material that has been previously unavailable or hard to find, The Sacred Rights of Conscience contains original documents from both public and private papers, such as constitutions, statutes, legislative resolutions, speeches, sermons, newspapers, letters, and diary entries. These documents provide a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American social, legal, and political culture and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the Republic to define the prudential and constitutional role of religion in public culture.
Daniel L. Dreisbach is William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life for the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C.
Mark David Hall is Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University.
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