The Religion Guarantees: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution

By Peter K. Rofes | Go to book overview

Bibliographic Essay

This bibliographical essay seeks to refer readers to much-cited sources central to the constitutional questions implicated by the religion clauses. The essay begins by discussing sources germane to the history of the religion clauses, sources that probe the context and circumstances that led to the drafting and creation of the anti-establishment and free exercise portions of the First Amendment. With that as foundation, the essay discusses materials relating to the struggle to craft a workable constitutional definition of religion. It then addresses works influential in connection with a variety of particular issues arising under the interpretation of the anti-establishment and free exercise guarantees. The essay closes with mention of some works that endeavor to reconcile the tension between the clauses as well as those that criticize the prevailing jurisprudence and offer suggestions for ways to improve on that jurisprudence.


HISTORICAL OVERVIEWS

Not surprisingly, an understanding of the First Amendment’s religion clauses begins with the historical context that prompted their creation.

Michael Malbin seeks to fill what he perceives to be a conspicuous gap in the historical scholarship devoted to the religion clauses: the absence of a resource explaining “the complexities of the establishment issue or the relationship between establishment and free exercise.” Accordingly, Malbin sets out to fill the gap by endeavoring to divine the intentions of the First Congress by examining its debates “on a speech-by-speech basis.” Malbin concludes that the First Congress never intended the anti-establishment guarantee to mandate strict governmental neutrality between religion and irreligion. Indeed, Malbin—by contending that the original purposes of the anti-establishment guarantee would not have foreclosed governmental assistance to private religious schools—delivers a prescient expression of the outcome of the contemporary constitutional batlie over school choice, at least for now. Malbin finds the meaning of the free

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The Religion Guarantees: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - The Origins of the Religion Guarantees 1
  • 2 - The Anti-Establishment Guarantee 29
  • 3 - The Free Exercise Guarantee 123
  • Bibliographic Essay 183
  • Table of Cases 201
  • Index 205
  • About the Author 213
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