The First Freedoms
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The First Freedoms : Church and State in America to the Passage of the First Amendment

3.83 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Is government forbidden to assist all religions equally, as the Supreme Court has held? Or does the First Amendment merely ban exclusive aid to one religion, as critics of the Court assert? The First Freedoms studies the church-state context of colonial and revolutionary America to present a bold new reading of the historical meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Synthesizing and interpreting a wealth of evidence from the founding of Virginia to the passage of the Bill of Rights, including everything published in America before 1791, Thomas Curry traces America's developing ideas on religious liberty and offers the most extensive investigation ever of the historical origins and background of the First Amendment's religion clauses.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 136.7 x 204.7 x 14.7mm | 273.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0195051815
  • 9780195051810

Review quote

"Excellent. [Its] new, creative approach [is] much appreciated!"-Kathy J. Pulley, Southwest Missouri State University "This is a useful book for scholars of church-state relations in the colonial period and for those trying to evaluate and respond to the "intentionalist" views of the First Amendment currently advocated by the Right Wing."-Church History "A good synthetic survey of the developments in the colonial period leading up to the ratification of the first amendment...[Curry] has brought the entire story together for easy access by students of American history and religion."-Religious Studies Review "Given the current importance of the religious issue in the U.S., this study should prove enlightening."-Choice "A magnificent history of church-state relations in America prior to the ratification of the Bill of Rights."-Harvard Review "An excellent, comprehensive book, rooted in the relevant primary and secondary literature....The definitive guide to church and state in colonial America."-America "[An] excellent new book."-Church & State "Will be immensely useful as a summary of how religious institutions and governments interacted throughout the century and a half of colonial experience."-Reviews in American History "The writing is clear; the arguments are carefully crafted; the conclusions are judiciously stated. There are flashes of humor throughout....This is a superb and important book that deserves a wide audience."-The William and Mary Quarterly "A balanced and insightful survey."-North Carolina Historical Review "Carefully rooted in the historical setting....Not only historians but also judges and lawyers should consult this book."-American Historical Reviewshow more

Back cover copy

From the founding of Virginia to the passage of the Bill of Rights, the role of the First Amendment's religion clauses has never been clearly defined. A thorough examination of America's developing ideas on religious liberty. The First Freedoms presents a bold new interpretation of the Church-State context of colonial and revolutionary America.show more

Table of contents

The New England Way in Church and State to 1691 ; Church and State in Seventeenth-Century Virginia and Maryland ; Church and State in Restoration Colonies ; Liberty of Conscience in Eigthteenth-Century Colonial America ; Establishment of Religion in Colonial America ; Religion and Government in Revolutionary America, Pt. I: The Southern States ; Religion and Government in Revolutionary America, Pt. II: The Middle States and New England ; "Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof,..."show more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 50% (3)
3 33% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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