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Understanding Liberal DemocracyEssays in Political Philosophy$
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Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.001.0001

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A Religious Argument for the Civil Right to Freedom of Religious Exercise, Drawn from American History

A Religious Argument for the Civil Right to Freedom of Religious Exercise, Drawn from American History

Chapter:
(p.329) 14 A Religious Argument for the Civil Right to Freedom of Religious Exercise, Drawn from American History
Source:
Understanding Liberal Democracy
Author(s):

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Terence Cuneo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.003.0015

The two decades or so that culminated in the composition of the U S. Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights was a period of astonishingly broad and deep discussion of political theory in the American colonies. This paper extracts the principal argument offered for the civil right to free exercise of religion in the various constitutions and declarations of rights that were then composed. It then evaluates this argument, attaching some qualifications to present it in its strongest form.

Keywords:   American colonies, Bill of Rights, duties, freedom of conscience, Jefferson, Thomas, Madison, James, natural rights, reformation, U S. Constitution, worship

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