Encyclopedia of Religion & the Law in America


This informative, easy-to-use reference work covers a wide range of legal issues that affect the roles of religion and law in American society.  Extensive A–Z entries provide coverage of key court decisions, case studies, concepts, individuals, religious groups, organizations, and agencies shaping religion and law in today's society. Several new entries have been added to this new edition, along with a complete update of existing listings. 61 more entries than the first edition brings the total to 228 entries.  In addition, a new section on Primary Documents has been added to further aid the user.

Primary Documents
These 43 primary documents fall into five major categories—

  • Historical Documents
  • Federal Statutes
  • United Nations Documents
  • Historical Commentary
  • Contemporary Commentary.

These documents travel through history, ranging from the Virginia Charter in 1606 to Hillary Clinton’s speech on faith in 2008, and include President Obama’s 2006 Call to Renewal speech.

Chronology
This Chronology, from 1776-2009, includes 136 entries. Designed to provide historical context, it covers court decisions, changes to laws and legal language, and significant contributions of individuals to the ongoing process of clarifying the relationship between religion and the law.

Further Reading
Hundred of titles offer the reader unlimited opportunity to do more research on religion and the law.

Table of Cases
This list includes 626 court cases that appear in this title either as a topic or a reference.

Table of Statutes
This list of 79 citations for laws enacted by Congress and referenced in this encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia Coverage
This reference work naturally covers all of the U.S. Supreme Court’s major jurisprudence on the relationship between religion and the law, plus cases of state and lower federal courts, describing the significant role that the legislative and executive branches have in shaping this relationship. In addition, this Encyclopedia includes legal concepts and issues, and discussion on other disciplines, like political philosophy, to provide an understanding of the role of religion and religious groups in society, and the relation of pluralism to public values.

This Second Edition of The Encyclopedia of Religion and the Law in America includes the broadest, most in-depth and well-balanced sources available. It presents the issues involving religion and the law in all their complexity, nuances, and challenges, creating an authoritative reference work destined to become a leader in its field.

Written in layman’s language, this Dictionary provides important information on:

  • Topics involved with the constitutional theory and interpretation of religion and the law
  • Terms providing a historical explanation of the ways in which America's ever increasing ethnic and religious diversity contributed to our current understanding of the mandates of the First and Fourteenth Amendments
  • Terms and concepts describing the development of religion clause jurisprudence
  • An analytical examination of the distinct vocabulary used in this area of the law
  • The means by which American courts have attempted to balance religious liberty against other important individual and social interests in a wide variety of physical and regulatory environments, including the classroom, the workplace, the courtroom, religious group organization and structure, taxation, the clash of "secular" and "religious" values, and the relationship of the generalized idea of individual autonomy of the specific concept of religious liberty
  • Many entries cover symbolic issues, such as prayer in public schools, legislative prayer, and religious symbols on public property.

Important legislation and legal cases affecting religion and society are thoroughly covered in this timely volume, including a detailed Table of Cases and Table of Statutes for more detailed research. A guide to further reading and an index are also included.

This useful resource will be an important acquisition for the reference collections of all public libraries, university libraries, religion reference collections and high schools.


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