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Texas State University: Undoing the American Settlement -The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom

April 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Religious Liberty, Moses Jacob Ezekiel

On April 14, 2022, Texas State University will be hosting Steven D. Smith for a discussion of American religious liberty. Dr. Smith will explore the traditional understanding of the religious provisions of the First Amendment and the consequences of the Supreme Court’s rejection of that understanding:

Situating the roots of America’s approach to the question of Church-State relations and religious freedom in the Christian ideals of freedom of the church and freedom of conscience, Steven D. Smith maintains that America’s distinctive contribution to religious freedom is not found in the First Amendment, but in a commitment to open contestation between competing secularist and providentialist understandings of the nation which evolved over the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the Supreme Court repudiated this commitment to open contestation, thereby rejecting America’s traditional approach. The consequences of this repudiation are visible today in the incoherence of religion clause jurisprudence and the vicious culture wars in American politics.

Thursday, April 14, 2022 • 7:00 PM CDT
Alkek, Room 250 • Texas State University

Free and open to the public.

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Steven D. Smith is the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Co-Executive Director of the USD Institute for Law and Religion. He specializes in constitutional interpretation, torts, jurisprudence and legal theory, law and religion, religious freedom/separation of church and state, federal courts, and constitutional law.

Learn more about Steven D. Smith >>



Discourse in Democracy is a series of events designed to engage undergraduate students in political and philosophical debate about today’s most important issues. Discourse in Democracy provides opportunities for students to become more deeply involved in their Texas State community by offering lectures and seminars by keynote speakers, chances to collaborate with professors, other students, and prominent professionals in the field at the federal, state, and local levels.

Learn more about the Discourse in Democracy Series >>



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