“Equality or Nothing!”

Chris Beneke

in Beyond Toleration

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305555
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784899 | DOI:
  “Equality or Nothing!”

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This chapter connects the demise of exclusive religious establishments with the foundation of republican governments. It also traces the extension of equal recognition to previously marginal groups, such as Roman Catholics. Indeed, by the founding period, the wholesale condemnation of religious minorities had become quite rare and the presumption that faith of many different kinds was better than no faith at all had become widespread. James Madison’s struggle to extend the meaning of “religion” in the Virginia legislature and John Carroll’s efforts to ensure equal rights and recognition for Catholics highlight the widening scope of American pluralism.

Keywords: religious establishments; Republican governments; founding; equal recognition; equal rights; marginal groups; Catholics; James Madison; John Carroll

Chapter.  19236 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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