Endowed by Our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America

Michael I. Meyerson. Yale Univ., $32.50 (384p) ISBN 978-0-300-16632-3
The influential role of religion in American public life is indubitable. From our earliest days, cooperation and conflict between competing religious bodies has played a large part in the formation of our national character. Today, the battle has hardly abated and continues to drive our lawmakers and judiciary, sometimes in alarming directions. Meyerson, a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, has penned a very fine examination of the role that religion, and religious conflict, has played in our American story. Artfully blending history and narrative, Meyerson breathes life into an often misunderstood story, examining the beliefs of our founders, and showing how those beliefs did not always determine their policy decisions. The author directs our attention to the need for “creating an accurate picture of what freedom of religion meant at the time of the framing” of our Constitution, and that freedom of religion did not mean freedom from religion. This is a wonderful book, a needed corrective to the heat that often defines the current debate. Agent: Elizabeth Shreve, Shreve Williams Public Relations. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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