This compilation of primary documents provides a thorough and balanced examination of the evolving relationship between public religion and American culture, from pre-colonial biblical and European sources to the early nineteenth century, to allow the reader to explore the social and political forces that defined the concept of religious liberty and shaped American church-state relations. --from publisher description
Pt. I: Antecedents of the principles governing religious liberty and church-state relations in America. Biblical and European heritages -- Pt. II: Creating the principles governing religious liberty and church-state relations in colonial America. Fundamental laws, declarations of rights and public acts on ecclesiastical establishments and religious liberty in colonial America ; Letters, tracts, and sermons on religious liberty and duty in colonial America -- Pt. III: Framing the constitutional principles governing religious liberty and church-state relations in the American founding. The continental and Confederation Congresses and church-state relations ; State constitutions, laws, and papers on church and state in Revolutionary America ; Petitions, essays, and sermons on church and state in Revolutionary America ; References to God and the Christian religion in the U.S. Constitution ; The religious test ban of the U.S. Constitution ; The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- Pt. IV: Defining and testing the constitutional principles governing religious liberty and church-state relations in the new nation. Religion and the public policy and culture of the new nation ; Religion and politics in the election of 1800 ; Thomas Jefferson and the "wall of separation" ; Christianity, the common law, and the American order ; Reflections on the American church-state experiment -- Appendixes. Historical chronology, 1607-1833 ; Summary of deliberations in the First Federal Congress on the First Amendment religion provisions, 1789
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