Pub. Date:
The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America

The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America

by Sarah Barringer GordonSarah Barringer Gordon
Current price is , Original price is $29.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


A new constitutional world burst into American life in the mid-twentieth century. For the first time, the national constitution's religion clauses were extended by the United States Supreme Court to all state and local governments. As energized religio

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674046542
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/30/2010
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sarah Barringer Gordon is Arlin M. Adams Professor of Law and Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  1. The New Constitutional World
  2. The Worship of Idols
  3. The Almighty and the Dollar
  4. Faith as Liberation
  5. Holy War
  6. Covenants of Love

  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Steve Shiffrin

Gordon puts flesh and blood on the most heated law and religion disputes of the last seven decades. Looking at these disputes primarily through the religious eyes of colorful activists committed to making a constitutional difference, she makes legal and religious history come alive in an important and engaging way.

Steve Shiffrin, author of The Religious Left and Church-State Relations

Hendrik Hartog

By exploring the odd and interesting lives and lawsuits of dissenting twentieth-century believers, Sarah Barringer Gordon provides us with a novel and compelling modern constitutional history of American religion.
Hendrik Hartog, author of Man and Wife in America: A History

Mark Silk

A masterful study…insightful and provocative, well-written and entertaining. I know of no other book like it.
Mark Silk, author of One Nation, Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics

William E. Nelson

Gordon demonstrates how the dazzling variety of religious expression in America since the 1930s has outpaced the capacity of judges and legal theorists to construct a stable constitutional law of religion. By implication, the book also raises questions about whether any constitutional theory can keep pace with the dynamic pluralism of American constitutional argument.
William E. Nelson, Weinfeld Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Laura Kalman

This dazzling book explores the Jehovah's Witnesses, Black Muslims, white evangelical Protestant women, and others who, beginning in the 1940s, made law crucial to religious life. It is a wonderful read that brilliantly illuminates the creative tension between law and religion in recent American history.

Laura Kalman, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Customer Reviews