Chapter

A Religious Argument for the Civil Right to Freedom of Religious Exercise, Drawn from American History

Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

in Understanding Liberal Democracy

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558957
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744808 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.003.0015
A Religious Argument for the Civil Right to Freedom of Religious Exercise, Drawn from American History

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The two decades or so that culminated in the composition of the U S. Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights was a period of astonishingly broad and deep discussion of political theory in the American colonies. This paper extracts the principal argument offered for the civil right to free exercise of religion in the various constitutions and declarations of rights that were then composed. It then evaluates this argument, attaching some qualifications to present it in its strongest form.

Keywords: American colonies; Bill of Rights; duties; freedom of conscience; Jefferson; Thomas; Madison; James; natural rights; reformation; U S. Constitution; worship

Chapter.  10865 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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