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About the book

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“This magisterial revision of Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment is an accessible and authoritative guide through the remarkable but tortuous history of America’s unique approach to religious freedom. Clear without over-simplification, comprehensive without pedantry, it portrays a system that enabled the United States to become a society where members of all religions and no religion could not only live together in relative harmony but flourish.”
—Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law emerita, Harvard University

This accessible and authoritative introduction tells the story of American religious liberty from its colonial beginnings to the present. The authors analyze closely the formation of the First Amendment religion clauses and describe the unique and enduring principles of the American experiment in religious freedom—liberty of conscience, free exercise of religion, religious equality, religious pluralism, separation of church and state, and no establishment of religion. This new 5th edition addresses all of the Supreme Court cases on religious freedom from 1815 to 2021, including such hot-button issues as religious freedom versus sexual liberty; religious worship in the time of COVID; freedom of conscience and exemption claims; state aid to religion; religious monuments and ceremonies in public life; and the rights and limits of religious groups. Clear, comprehensive, and balanced, this volume is an ideal classroom text.

John Witte, Jr. is Woodruff University Professor, McDonald Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

Joel A. Nichols is Interim Dean and Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas (MN).

Richard W. Garnett is Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law, Concurrent Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Program on Church, State, and Society at the University of Notre Dame.