Now in paperback, a primer of essential writings about one of the cornerstones of our democracy by the original authors of the Constitution, edited by preeminant liberal theologian Forrest Church.
Americans will never stop debating the question of church-state separation, and such debates invariably lead back to the nation’s beginnings and the founders’ intent. The Separation of Church and State presents a basic collection of the founders’ teachings on this topic. This concise primer gets past the rhetoric that surrounds the current debate, placing the founders’ vivid writings on religious liberty in historical perspective. Edited and with running commentary by Forrest Church, this important collection informs anyone curious about the original blueprint for our country and its government.
About the Author
FORREST CHURCH is currently serving his thirtieth year as minister of All Souls Church in Manhattan. He earned his doctorate in church history at Harvard and has written or edited twenty-two books, including The Separation of Church and State. He lives in New York.
“A useful little volume . . . The separation of church and state is important, this collection suggests, because that’s how the country was conceived.”—Jeff Sharlet, The Revealer
“This brief primer includes some of the most eloquent and cogent arguments by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, George Washington, [and] Patrick Henry that will help a contemporary audience understand the original reasoning behind the separation of church and state.”—Catholic Opinion
“No longer will the earnest citizen need to rely on second- and third-hand versions of how separation of church and state came about—or what it really means. The Separation of Church and State is an invaluable handbook of primary sources for the perplexed—and the concerned—in today’s whirlpool of contrary opinions and strident voices.”—Edwin S. Gaustad, author of Proclaim Liberty throughout All the Land: A History of Church and State in America