Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--and What We Should Do About It

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Macmillan, May 15, 2007 - Religion - 320 pages
11 Reviews

A brilliant and urgent appraisal of one of the most profound conflicts of our time

Even before George W. Bush gained reelection by wooing religiously devout "values voters," it was clear that church-state matters in the United States had reached a crisis. With Divided by God, Noah Feldman shows that the crisis is as old as this country--and looks to our nation's past to show how it might be resolved.

Today more than ever, ours is a religiously diverse society: Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. And yet more than ever, committed Christians are making themselves felt in politics and culture.

What are the implications of this paradox? To answer this question, Feldman makes clear that again and again in our nation's history diversity has forced us to redraw the lines in the church-state divide. In vivid, dramatic chapters, he describes how we as a people have resolved conflicts over the Bible, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the teaching of evolution through appeals to shared values of liberty, equality, and freedom of conscience. And he proposes a brilliant solution to our current crisis, one that honors our religious diversity while respecting the long-held conviction that religion and state should not mix.

Divided by God speaks to the headlines, even as it tells the story of a long-running conflict that has made the American people who we are.


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Review: Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--And What We Should Do about It

User Review  - Quinndara - Goodreads

Noah Feldman's book gives a detailed history of the church-state conflict in the United States and suggests how the conflict can be resolved. Legal secularists and values evangelicals have a common ... Read full review

Review: Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--And What We Should Do about It

User Review  - Krishna Kumar - Goodreads

Good analysis of the history of religion and politics in the United States since Independence. However, the recommendation offered by the author is not very well thought out. It may be impractical and even if implemented, could cause different types of problems. Read full review

All 6 reviews »


Preface to the Paperback Edition
The Origins
Schools and Morals
The Birth of American Secularism m
The Fundamentals the Fundamentalists
The Courts and the Rise of Legal Secularism
The Values Evangelicals
Reconciliation and the American Experiment
Uniting a Nation Divided by God

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About the author (2007)

Noah Feldman, who teaches law at New York University, is the author of After Jihad and What We Owe Iraq. He lives in New York and Washington, D.C.

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