In The Religious Left and Church-State Relations, noted constitutional law scholar Steven Shiffrin argues that the religious left, not the secular left, is best equipped to lead the battle against the religious right on questions of church and state in America today. Explaining that the chosen rhetoric of secular liberals is poorly equipped to argue against religious conservatives, Shiffrin shows that all progressives, religious and secular, must appeal to broader values promoting religious liberty. He demonstrates that the separation of church and state serves to protect religions from political manipulation while tight connections between church and state compromise the integrity of religious institutions.
Shiffrin discusses the pluralistic foundations of the religion clauses in the First Amendment and asserts that the clauses cannot be confined to the protection of liberty, equality, or equal liberty. He explores the constitutional framework of religious liberalism, applying it to controversial examples, including the Pledge of Allegiance, the government's use of religious symbols, the teaching of evolution in public schools, and school vouchers. Shiffrin examines how the approaches of secular liberalism toward church-state relations have been misguided philosophically and politically, and he illustrates why theological arguments hold an important democratic position--not in courtrooms or halls of government, but in the public dialogue. The book contends that the great issue of American religious politics is not whether religions should be supported at all, but how religions can best be strengthened and preserved.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Steven H. Shiffrin is the Charles Frank Reavis Sr. Professor of Law at Cornell University. He is the author of Dissent, Injustice, and the Meanings of America and The First Amendment, Democracy, and Romance (both Princeton).
Table of Contents
PART I: THE PLURALISTIC FOUNDATIONS OF THE RELIGION CLAUSES 9
Chapter 1. Overview of Part I 11
Chapter 2. The Free Exercise Clause 16
The Court's Approach 16
Liberal Theory 17
Communitarian Theory 18
Free Exercise Values 20
Applying the Free Exercise Clause 23
Chapter 3. Establishment Clause Values 28
Liberty and Autonomy 29
Promoting Political Community 31
Protecting the Autonomy of Government 32
Protecting Churches 32
Promoting Religion 34
Chapter 4. Applying the Establishment Clause 41
Acceptable Deviations from Equality 42
Unacceptable Conformity with Equality:
Equality in the Public School Classroom 54
Concluding Observations about Part I 58
PART II: THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE SOCIALIZATION OF CHILDREN: COMPULSORY PUBLIC EDUCATION AND VOUCHERS 61
Chapter 5. Compulsory Public Education 63
Pierce v. Society of Sisters: A Landmark Case 65
The Purposes of Public Education 68
The Limits of Compulsory Public Education 74
Constitutional? Sometimes. Good Public Policy? No. 80
Chapter 6. Vouchers 82
Are Vouchers Constitutionally Required? 82
Wise Policy for Preadolescents? 83
Should Vouchers Be Constitutionally Permitted for Religious Schools? 86
Concluding Observations about Part II 93
PART III . RELIGION AND PROGRESSIVE POLITICS 95
Chapter 7. Religion and Progressive Politics 97
Secular Liberalism 100
Religious Liberalism 106
Chapter 8. The Politics of Liberalism 110
The Relative Political Attractiveness of Secular and Religious Liberalism 110
Religion and American Party Politics 125
Grassroots Democracy, Liberal Politics, and Excessive Religious Hostility 127
What People are Saying About This
Passionate, deeply learned, and timely, this book proves that something integral to American democracy is lost if we overlook the complexity, ambiguity, and in-between positions too often forsaken in declamatory public debates about political religions. It is an unquestionable contribution to long-standing conversations about religious jurisprudence, constitutional debates, religion and politics, and American democracy.
Jason C. Bivins, North Carolina State University
Building on the recent invigoration of progressive religion, Shiffrin's crisp and tightly-argued call for a renewed liberal support for religious freedom in law and politics is a welcome addition to the growing scholarship on the progressive resurgence.
Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania
This well-researched and thoroughly documented book is insightful throughout. Its main argument concerning the religious left is important, provocative, imaginative, and cogently argued. Shiffrin engages and confronts competing views, not only of the Supreme Court but of prominent scholars, and he includes revealing comparative insights between the experiences of the United States and Europe.
Daniel O. Conkle, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
This is an extraordinarily well-written, original, and persuasive book that offers an eloquent plea for recognition of the multiple values of the religion clauses, emphasizes the civil values of public schools, and shows how religious perspectives can yield compelling reasons to separate church and state. It will greatly enrich the understanding of anyone who cares about religious liberty.
Kent Greenawalt, Columbia University Law School