Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State (Google eBook)

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NYU Press, Sep 1, 2002 - Law - 283 pages
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No phrase in American letters has had a more profound influence on church-state law, policy, and discourse than Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state,” and few metaphors have provoked more passionate debate. Introduced in an 1802 letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, Jefferson’s “wall” is accepted by many Americans as a concise description of the U.S. Constitution’s church-state arrangement and conceived as a virtual rule of constitutional law.

Despite the enormous influence of the “wall” metaphor, almost no scholarship has investigated the text of the Danbury letter, the context in which it was written, or Jefferson’s understanding of his famous phrase. Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State offers an in-depth examination of the origins, controversial uses, and competing interpretations of this powerful metaphor in law and public policy.


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Review: Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State

User Review  - Brandon - Goodreads

One more reason to dislike Jefferson and distrust anyone who says he's his favorite president. Read full review


2The President a Mammoth Cheese and the Wall of Separation
3Sowing Useful Truths and Principles
4What the Wall Separates
5Early References to a Wall of Separation
6Creating Effectual Barriers
7Useful Truths and Principles Germinate and Become Rooted in the American Mind
APPENDIX 4Proclamation Appointing a Day of Publick and Solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer November 1779
APPENDIX 5Draft of The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 November 1798 excerpt
APPENDIX 6Correspondence with the Danbury Baptist Association 18011802
APPENDIX 7Correspondence with the Citizens of Cheshire Massachusetts January 1802
APPENDIX 8Second Inaugural Address 4 March 1805 excerpts
APPENDIX 9Letter from Jefferson to the Reverend Samuel Miller 23 January 1808
Selected Bibliography

APPENDIX 1Proclamation Appointing a Day of Fasting Humiliation and Prayer May 1774
APPENDIX 2Address to the Inhabitants of the Parish of St Anne 1774
APPENDIX 3Bills Reported by the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in 1776 18 June 1779
About the Author

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About the author (2002)

Daniel L. Dreisbachis an Associate Professor in the Department of Justice, Law, and Society at American University. He is the editor ofReligion and Political Culture in Jefferson’s VirginiaandReligion and Politics in the Early Republic.

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