The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Its Evolution and Consequences in American History
Merrill D. Peterson, Robert C. Vaughan
Cambridge University Press, Oct 30, 2003 - Religion - 392 pages
This book colourfully examines a famous Jeffersonian document which set the precedent for the US Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty. Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute, shepherded it through a decade-long struggle to adoption, and included it in his epitaph (along with the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the University of Virginia). The Statute’s history reflects two key revolutionary principles: absolute freedom of religious conscience; and the separation of church and state. Both principles remain lively topics of debate on the contemporary religious and political scene. Papers collected here were presented at a conference sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. Among the contributors are several of America’s most prominent religious and political historians and experts on jurisprudence.
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