Beyond belief, beyond conscience : the radical significance of the free exercise of religion /
"Some time back in the early 2000s, when-thanks to Dean John Sexton, my good friends Larry Kramer and John Ferejohn, and other colleagues-I used to hang out at New York University Law School, I had lunch one day with Dedi Felman, who was then a legal editor at Oxford University Press. We discus...
New York, NY :
Oxford University Press,
|Series:||Inalienable rights series.
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|Summary:||"Some time back in the early 2000s, when-thanks to Dean John Sexton, my good friends Larry Kramer and John Ferejohn, and other colleagues-I used to hang out at New York University Law School, I had lunch one day with Dedi Felman, who was then a legal editor at Oxford University Press. We discussed her idea of doing a series of short provocative books on problems of rights in American constitutional history. When Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago (my literal birthplace) took over editing The Unalienable Rights series that Dedi organized, I quickly staked a claim to the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. This interest reflected a longstanding concern with James Madison, dating to my dissertation work in the early 1970s, and other projects I had pursued since, including the problem of how one discusses the original meaning of the Constitution. The idea of religious freedom was a seminal element in the development of Madison's constitutional ideas. Equally important, the two components of the Religion Clause illustrated two landmark aspects of American constitutional practice. The free exercise of religion is a right different from all other rights because of the degree of moral autonomy it invests in each and every one of us. And the disestablishment of religion, by depriving the state of the power of regulating religion, offers the best example of the basic idea that the legislative authority government exercises depends on the will of a sovereign people. These are points we do not readily grasp. In part because contemporary Religion Clause jurisprudence is such a messy and vexed subject, and in part because justices and judges often prefer resolving claims of conscience on general grounds of freedom of speech, this original significance of "the religion question" often escapes attention. The subtitle of this book rests on my conviction that a historically grounded approach to this subject would be of some value to legal scholars. Among other things, that approach involves asking how we should compare the gradual development of European modes of religious tolerance with the emerging American conviction that the free exercise of religion was no longer a matter of mere toleration."--|
|Physical Description:||1 online resource (xviii, 220 pages).|
|Bibliography:||Includes bibliographical references and index.|
|Access:||Electronic access restricted to Villanova University patrons.|