The First Freedoms: Church and State in America to the Passage of the First Amendment

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Oxford University Press, Dec 3, 1987 - History - 289 pages
Is government forbidden to assist all religions equally, as the Supreme Court has held? Or does the First Amendment merely ban exclusive aid to one religion, as critics of the Court assert? The First Freedoms studies the church-state context of colonial and revolutionary America to present a bold new reading of the historical meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Synthesizing and interpreting a wealth of evidence from the founding of Virginia to the passage of the Bill of Rights, including everything published in America before 1791, Thomas Curry traces America's developing ideas on religious liberty and offers the most extensive investigation ever of the historical origins and background of the First Amendment's religion clauses.

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1 The New England Way in Church and State to 1691
2 Church and State in SeventeenthCentury Virginia and Maryland
3 Church and State in the Restoration Colonies
4 Liberty of Conscience in EighteenthCentury Colonial America
5 Establishment of Religion in Colonial America
The Southern States
The Middle States and New England
8 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

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About the author (1987)

Thomas J. Curry is an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and author of The First Freedoms: Church and State in America to the Passage of the First Amendment (OUP, 1986).

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