This is a book about constitutional law. Although its conclusions are based largely on the words and deeds of those Americans who adopted the Bill of Rights in 1791, they are offered as what today's law should be. My chief intellectual debt is thus understandably to my teacher in constitutional law, Henry Monaghan, who is currently at Columbia Law School but who taught at Cornell when I studied law there in the late 1970s. Cornell historian Joel Silbey has been my primary mentor in things historical at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and is the person most responsible for whatever sensitivity to the past is evident in the following pages. Silbey's colleague, and my teacher, R. Laurence Moore, has always been an invaluable guide to religion in the American experience. None of these fine teachers should be understood to vouch for the project, though I hope each takes some pride in a grateful student's endeavor.
The brief discussion of divisiveness rhetoric in chapter 2 appeared previously in 30 Saint Louis Law Journal 275 ( 1986) and is reprinted here with permission. I am especially grateful to Greenwood Press for permission to publish a substantially similar version of chapter 6 (along with some paragraphs from the Introduction) in the summer 1986 issue of Connecticut Law Review, as my contribution to a symposium issue on religion and the law.
Able research assistance was provided by several University of Illinois College of Law students, including Charles Stone, Andrew Goldstein, Jeffrey Liskar, and Susan Atwood. Paul Byrne did outstanding work on schooling in early America; William Enos performed superbly in preparing the manuscript for publication. The College of Law also provided me a summer research stipend,