New Book: JMC Fellows on the First Amendment and Religious Liberty

Church with American flag

The Cambridge Companion to the First Amendment and Religious Liberty

Edited by Michael Breidenbach and Owen Anderson


Cambridge Companion, First Amendment, Religious Liberty, Michael Breidenbach (ed.)JMC fellow Michael Breidenbach has recently co-edited and contributed to a collection of pieces on the First Amendment and religious liberty. Several JMC fellows served as contributors, including Janice Tzuling Chik, Glenn Moots, Jonathan Den Hartog, and Vincent Phillip Muñoz:

This book is an interdisciplinary guide to the religion clauses of the First Amendment with a focus on its philosophical foundations, historical developments, and legal and political implications. The volume begins with fundamental questions about God, the nature of belief and worship, conscience, freedom, and their intersections with law. It then traces the history of religious liberty and church-state relations in America through a diverse set of religious and non-religious voices from the seventeenth century to the most recent Supreme Court decisions. The Companion will conclude by addressing legal and political questions concerning the First Amendment and the court cases and controversies surrounding religious liberty today, including the separation of church and state, corporate religious liberty, and constitutional interpretation. This scholarly yet accessible book will introduce students and scholars alike to the main issues concerning the First Amendment and religious liberty, along with offering incisive new insights into one of the most important topics in American culture.

Purchase the book from Cambridge University Press or Amazon >>



Michael BreidenbachMichael Breidenbach is Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Ryan Center at Villanova University, and Assistant Professor of History at Ave Maria University (on research leave). His research interests concern the history of political, legal, and religious thought, especially in early America and the Atlantic World. He has particular interests in religious liberty, church and state, and the relationship between religion and politics. His current book, How Catholics Became American (Harvard University Press, under contract), is a history of religious liberty and church-state relations in early America and the Atlantic World. His recent work has also been published in William and Mary Quarterly, Perspectives on Political Science, The Things that Matter: Essays Inspired by the Later Work of Jacques Maritain, and Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833. Other research interests include constitutional law and interpretation, human rights, secularization, immigration, republicanism, liberalism, medieval political thought, Catholic Enlightenment, the papacy, and Vatican II.

Professor Breidenbach is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Michael Breidenbach >>



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