This book furthers dialogue on the separation of church and state with an approach that emphasizes intellectual history and the constitutional theory that underlies American society. Mark Douglas McGarvie explains that the founding fathers of America considered the right of conscience to be an individual right, to be protected against governmental interference. While the religion clauses enunciated this right, its true protection occurred in the creation of separate public and private spheres. Religion and the churches were placed in the private sector. Yet, politically active Christians have intermittently mounted challenges to this bifurcation in calling for a greater public role for Christian faith and morality in American society. Both students and scholars will learn much from this intellectual history of law and religion that contextualizes a four-hundred-year-old ideological struggle.
Mark Douglas McGarvie, JD, PhD is a Research Scholar at the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. For the 2015-16 school year, he taught at the University of Zagreb Law School in Croatia as a Fulbright Scholar. His publications include One Nation Under Law: America's Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (2004), and contributions to The Cambridge History of Law in America (Cambridge, 2011), and No Establishment of Religion: America's Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012) and various law reviews and history journals.
Introduction; 1. Prologue: colonial America perpetuates state religion; 2. Revolution in thought and social organization: the legal; hegemony of Jeffersonian liberalism, 1776-1828; 3. A Christian counter-revolution and a new vision of American society, 1828-65; 4. Regulating behavior and teaching morals: the uses of religion, 1865-1937; 5. The rights revolution, 1937-2014; 6. Epilogue: the significance of history and a reconsideration of original intent; Bibliographic essay; Index.