Religious Liberty and the American Founding: Natural Rights and the Original Meanings of the First Amendment Religion Clauses

Religious Liberty and the American Founding: Natural Rights and the Original Meanings of the First Amendment Religion Clauses by Vincent Phillip Muoz 0226821447 9780226821443
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An insightful rethinking of the meaning of the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom.

The Founders understood religious liberty to be an inalienable natural right. Vincent Phillip Muoz explains what this means for church-state constitutional law, uncovering what we can and cannot determine about the original meanings of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses and constructing a natural rights jurisprudence of religious liberty.

Drawing on early state constitutions, declarations of religious freedom, Founding-era debates, and the First Amendment's drafting record, Muoz demonstrates that adherence to the Founders' political philosophy would lead neither to consistently conservative nor consistently liberal results. Rather, adopting the Founders' understanding would lead to a minimalist church-state jurisprudence that, in most cases, would return authority from the judiciary to the American people. Thorough and convincing, Religious Liberty and the American Founding is key reading for those seeking to understand the Founders' political philosophy of religious freedom and the First Amendment Religion Clauses.

Author: Vincent Phillip Muoz

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 352

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2022-08-23


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