Religion in Politics: Constitutional and Moral Perspectives

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Oxford University Press, Jan 21, 1999 - Political Science - 177 pages
Most Americans are religious believers. Among these there is disagreement about many fundamental religious/moral matters. Because the United States is both such a religious country and such a religiously pluralistic country, the issue of the proper role of religion in politics is extremely important to political debate. In Religion in Politics, Michael Perry addresses a fundamental question: what role may religious arguments play, if any, either in public debate about what political choices to make or as a basis of political choice? He is principally concerned with political choices that ban or otherwise disfavor one or another sort of human conduct based on the view that the conduct is immoral. He divides the controversy into two debates: the constitutionally proper role of religious arguments in politics, and a related, but distinct, debate about the morally proper role. Perry concludes that political choices about the morality of human conduct should not be based on religion. The newest work by one of the most important constitutional theorists writing today, Religion in Politics is sure to spark a new debate on the subject.
 

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Contents

Religion in Politics
3
The Constitutional Law of Religious Freedom
9
Religious Arguments in Public Political Debate
43
Religious Arguments as a Basis of Political Choice
63
Notes
105
Index
159
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About the author (1999)

Michael J. Perry is the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University. Among his numerous writings are The Constitution in the Courts (Oxford, 1994) and Love & Power (Oxford, 1991).

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