Church and State in Historical Perspective: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

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The subject of church and state is one intimately associated with the history of Christianity and Western civilization. However, the subject is one that is by no means limited to any one religious tradition, civilization, or period of history. Rather, it is a subject that has historical and universal significance to all cultures and religious traditions throughout the world. It is simply undeniable that religion has been, and remains, a powerful force in the making and shaping of cultures, civilizations, nations, and empires. For this reason, this volume addresses the broader perspectives of religion and the state in the ancient world, as well as in the biblical world of Judaism and Christianity, and in other religious traditions than Christianity.

Attention is given to general works on church and state that treat the subject broadly, not limited to any particular nation, religious tradition, or single aspect of church-state relations. Additionally, there is material on major topics integrally related to church and state, such as civil disobedience, civil religion, liberation theology, patriotism, and nationalism. Finally, sources are included on religion in international affairs and interfaith relations, both necessarily linked to the subject of church and state, as well as religion and the economic order; religion and human rights and the effect of religion on war and peace.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[S]urvey relations between religion and the state in the ancient and biblical world, from the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages to the Counter Reformation and the Inquisition, in other religions (besides Christianity of course), religious tolerance and religious freedom, religion and the secular state, and religion in international affairs and interfaith religions."


Reference & Research Book News

"The title indicates that the subject is treated in historical perspective, as indeed it is, reaching back all the way to the ancient and the biblical worlds. But it should be immediately noted that the perspective is worldwide as well, covering such religions as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Islam, and others. Thus one has within the covers of this single volume a reference and research tool of inestimable value….The annotated bibliography covers the church-state field from the first century to the present, with clear evidence that the author/editor has made heroic efforts to keep his bibliography up to date. This bibliographic survey, the main contribution of the book, covers nearly 500 pages with subjects ranging from antiquity to the nuclear age."


Journal of Church and State

"This title has been reviewed jointly with Church and State in the Modern World: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography, by James E. Wood Jr. Products of a lifetime of scholarship, these substantial companion bibliographies bring together nearly 5,000 carefully annotated citations of English-language books that deal with church and state in world history in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. The subtitle for both volumes, A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography, is accurate. Together they will likely stand as the definitive bibliographies of their genre….This comprehensive work appears at a most appropriate time for growing academic interest in the subject. Essential. Upper-level undergraduates and above."



"Researchers inspired by current events to study the relationship between religion and civil authority throughout history would do well to turn to this guide. More than twenty-three hundred well-annotated entries describe monographs, collections, and journals dealing with religion and the state from the ancient through the modern world….Recommended."


Reference & User Services Quarterly

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JAMES E. WOOD JR. is the Simon and Ethel Bunn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church-State Studies at Baylor University.

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Table of Contents

1 Religion and the state in the ancient world 3
2 Religion and the state in the biblical world 9
3 Christianity and the state 23
4 Religion and the state in other religions 35
5 Religious tolerance and religious freedom 49
6 Religion and the secular state 67
7 Religion in international affairs and interfaith relations 79
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