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The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
Its Evolution and Consequences in American History


Part of Cambridge Studies in Religion and American Public Life

Martin E. Marty, Edwin S. Gaustad, J. G. A. Pocock, Thomas E. Buckley, S. J., Lance Banning, Rhys Isaac, John T. Noonan, Jr, Cushing Strout, David Little, Richard Rorty, Leo Pfeffer, A. E. Dick Howard
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  • Date Published: October 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521892988

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About the Authors
  • This book colourfully examines a famous Jeffersonian document which set the precedent for the US Constitution's guarantee of religious liberty. Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute, shepherded it through a decade-long struggle to adoption, and included it in his epitaph (along with the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the University of Virginia). The Statute's history reflects two key revolutionary principles: absolute freedom of religious conscience; and the separation of church and state. Both principles remain lively topics of debate on the contemporary religious and political scene. Papers collected here were presented at a conference sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. Among the contributors are several of America's most prominent religious and political historians and experts on jurisprudence.

    • Originated from a symposium held in commemoration of the two hundreth anniversary of the Virgina State for Religious Freedom at the University of Virginia, 1985
    • Ssubjects discussed range from constitutional law to philosophy and religion
    • Will appeal to a large general audience interested in religion and its expression in American life
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521892988
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Editors' preface
    The statute of Virginia for religious freedom
    1. The Virginia statute two hundred years later Martin E. Marty
    2. Colonial religion and liberty of conscience Edwin S. Gaustad
    3. Religious Freedom and the desacralization of politics J. G. A. Pocock
    4. The political theory of Thomas Jefferson Thomas E. Buckley, S. J.
    5. James Madison, the statute for religious freedom, and the crisis of republican convictions Lance Banning
    6. 'The rage of malice of the old serpent devil': the dissenters and the making and remaking of the Virginia statute for religious freedom Rhys Isaac
    7. 'Quota of imps' John T. Noonan, Jr
    8. Jeffersonian religious liberty and American pluralism Cushing Strout
    9. Religion and civil virtue in America: Jefferson's statute reconsidered David Little
    10. The priority of democracy to philosophy Richard Rorty
    11. Madison's 'detached memoranda': then and now Leo Pfeffer
    12. The Supreme Court and the serpentine wall A. E. Dick Howard

  • Editors

    Merrill D. Peterson, University of Virginia

    Robert C. Vaughan


    Martin E. Marty, Edwin S. Gaustad, J. G. A. Pocock, Thomas E. Buckley, S. J., Lance Banning, Rhys Isaac, John T. Noonan, Jr, Cushing Strout, David Little, Richard Rorty, Leo Pfeffer, A. E. Dick Howard

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