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Church-State Constitutional Issues
     

Church-State Constitutional Issues

by Doanld Drakeman
 

Church-State Constitutional Issues explores the often-debated and always topical issue of the relationship between church and state as outlined in the First Amendment. Donald L. Drakeman takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine the meaning of the establishment clause, demonstrating how the studies of law, religion, history, and political science provide

Overview

Church-State Constitutional Issues explores the often-debated and always topical issue of the relationship between church and state as outlined in the First Amendment. Donald L. Drakeman takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine the meaning of the establishment clause, demonstrating how the studies of law, religion, history, and political science provide insight into this relationship, which, since the nation's inception, has been difficult to define.

The study first chronicles the Supreme Court's decision regarding the interpretation of the establishment clause from the early 19th century to the present. This legal history is subsequently viewed from a cultural perspective as Drakeman traces both the background of the First Amendment and how the relationship of church and state has developed on its journey through the court system. The volume moves towards further understanding of this complex issue as it concludes with a new interpretation of the establishment clause derived from previous information as well as further legal and political interpretive material.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drakeman examines the history of the church and state issues in the US, explores the meaning of the establishment clause in the First Amendment, and proposes a new interpretive framework for preventing government from aiding any one religion or from discriminating against any particular religion. To arrive at his own interpretive framework, Drakeman reviews the context of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the establishment clause by chronicling the most significant constitutional cases from the 19th century until today. Reliance on the Founding Fathers' intent toward the establishment clause is considered flawed because the evidence of their intentions is too sparse, and no clear mandate of their feelings on the separation of church and state is evidenced in historical records. Thus, Drakeman rejects originalism and proposes the use of a religiously nonpreferential endorsement doctrine whereby religion is not given special treatment by the government, yet whereby a religious institution is not singled out as one type of charitable organization ineligible for available government benefits. Upper-division undergraduates and above." - Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313276637
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/30/1991
Series:
Contributions in Legal Studies Series , #62
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
1820L (what's this?)

What People are Saying About This

Edward McGlynn Gaffney
"Mr. Drakeman has succeeded in offering his readers a concise review of all the major cases in the Supreme Court interpreting the establishment clause, a sharp criticism of the Court's performance, and a useful alternative interpretation of how the clause might guide public policy. In an area of the law where controversy too easily becomes acrimonious, he remains serenely in control of his materials, objective, and balanced."
Dean M. Kelley Director
Drakeman has provided a useful historical overview of the adoption of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and its interpretation during the past two centuries. His estimate of the significance of its wording and his suggestions for a sensible and coherent theory of how it should be applied today will stimulate constructive dialogue among those who care deeply—pro or con—about its importance in the controverted relationship between government and religion.
John F. Wilson
"In this fresh and compelling study, Drakeman takes on the conundrum of the Establishment Clause. His tightly-argued analysis deftly reviews its origins, its modern application, and the controversy the clause continues to engender. Drakeman concludes his work by proposing how Justice O'Connor's criterion of 'endorsement' could be developed as the means through which the Court might move beyond its current impasse. Church-State Constitutional Issues makes a significant contribution to the continuing discussion of this vexing topic."

Meet the Author

Donald L. Drakeman is a lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and president of a biotechnology company. He holds a PhD in American religious history from Princeton and a JD from Columbia Law School. He specializes in religion and government issues and American constitutional law. Mr. Drakeman co-edited Church and State in American History: The Burden of Religious Pluralism and has written articles for Rutgers Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, and The Christian Century.

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