The principal aim of the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment was to preclude congressional imposition of a national church. A balance was sought between states' rights and the rights of individuals to exercise their religious conscience. While the founding fathers were debating such issues, the potential for serious conflict was confined chiefly to variations among the dominant Christian sects. Today, issues of marriage, child bearing, cultural diversity, and corporate personhood, among others, suffuse constitutional jurisprudence, raising difficult questions regarding the nature of beliefs that qualify as 'religious', and the reach of law into the realm in which those beliefs are held. The essays collected in this volume explore in a selective and instructive way the intellectual and philosophical roots of religious liberty and contemporary confrontations between this liberty and the authority of secular law.
Daniel N. Robinson is Fellow of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He has published in a wide variety of subjects, including moral philosophy, the philosophy of psychology, legal philosophy, the philosophy of the mind, intellectual history, legal history, and the history of psychology. He is a Senior Fellow of Brigham Young University's Wheatley Institution. In 2011 he received the Gittler Award from the American Psychological Association for significant contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychology. Richard N. Williams is Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University, Utah. Most recently, he has co-edited (with Daniel N. Robinson) The American Founding: Its Intellectual and Moral Framework (2012) and Scientism: The New Orthodoxy (2016). He has published four other co-authored or co-edited books and more than 70 professional papers on a variety of topics dealing with psychology and issues of human agency, morality, and religion.
Foreword Thomas Griffith; Introduction Daniel N. Robinson; 1. Two concepts of liberty Robert P. George; 2. Religious liberty: the first freedom Daniel N. Robinson; 3. The creation and reconstruction of the First Amendment Akhil Reed Amar; 4. Recasting the argument for religious freedom Hadley Arkes; 5. Let us pray: Greece v. Galloway Gerard V. Bradley; 6. What are we really arguing about when we argue about the freedom of the church? Michael P. Moreland; 7. Our schizophrenic attitude towards corporate conscience Brett G. Scharffs; 8. Religious freedom in the world today Roger Scruton; 9. The first of all freedoms is liberty of conscience Michael Novak.