Kinder Institute: Disestablishment and Religious Dissent

Old St. Mary's, Philadelphia, PA

Kinder Institute: “Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833″


The Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri, a JMC partner program, and the MU School of Law will be hosting Carl Esbeck and JMC fellow Jonathan Den Hartog to speak on their new edited volume, Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833. In particular, Esbeck and Den Hartog will be discussing their recent research related to the book.

Friday, November 8, 2019 • 3:30 PM
Jesse Hall, Room 410 • University of Missouri

Free and open to the public

Click here for more information >>



Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833

Edited by Carl H. Esbeck and Jonathan J. Den Hartog


Disestablishment and Religious DissentDisestablishment and Religious Dissent traces the evolution in religion and its relation to civil government in revolutionary America and the Early Republic. It documents the remarkable stories of how the several states broke with 1500 years of Christendom by removing funding and other forms of preferential treatment for a state church. Each colony began with differing traditions of church-state relations rooted in the colony’s peoples, their countries of origin, church affiliations, and theological principles. Accordingly, the path to disestablishment was unique to each colony-come-state, and no one state was more influential than the others to the project’s success. The disestablishment story unfolded entirely at the state and even local levels, and so proceeded quite apart from the formation of the new federal constitution and its bill of rights.

The volume has twenty original investigations by historians, political scientists, and legal scholars who individually examined primary materials from the original thirteen colonies and eight of the early-admitted states, including Catholic establishments in territories acquired from Spain and France. These chapters are brought together in an introduction that provides overdue corrections to the conventional wisdom about church and state in the United States.

The book is due for release in November 2019. Order from University of Missouri Press or Amazon >>



Jonathan Den Hartog is Department Chair and Professor of History at Samford University, where he specializes in American history and American religious history. Previously, he served as the Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Northwestern. Professor Den Hartog has written extensively on the political outlooks of the Founders, and his work includes several journal articles, book reviews, and blog posts. He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, the American Antiquarian Society, the University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern College.

Professor Den Hartog is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Jonathan Den Hartog >>



Carl Esbeck received his J.D., with distinction, from Cornell University Law School, where he served as Editor on the Cornell Law Review. He held a clerkship with the Honorable Howard C. Bratton, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in New Mexico, before joining the faculty at the MU Law School. While on leave from 1999 to 2002, Prof. Esbeck directed the Center for Law & Religious Freedom and then served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Learn more about Carl Esbeck >>



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