In Faith on Trial, Mark Caggiano invites religious progressives and moderates to help put social progress and inclusion at the center of the national conversation about religion and the law.

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Product Code: 6608
ISBN: 9781558968769
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 08/20/2021
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $20.00

Books about religion and the law tend to be highly technical or aimed primarily at religious conservatives. In Faith on Trial: Religion and the Law in the United States, legal scholar and Unitarian Universalist minister Mark J. T. Caggiano argues that concerns about separation of church and state often serve to silence the viewpoints of religious progressives, many of whom exit the conversation in the hope of protecting important social issues from religious infighting. But it is impossible to win a debate that you never join, and as Caggiano writes, it is paramount in these times that “religious liberals and progressives cultivate and refine an ability to articulate the need for moral changes within the political system. That goal will require an understanding of the law as well as a moral vision for the world.”

Complete with historical context, legal analysis, and specific examples of cases and statutes, Faith on Trial is an invitation to religious progressives and moderates to help put social progress and inclusion at the center of the national conversation about religion and the law.


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Introduction

1. How to Describe a Wall
2. The Legal Basics
3. Handling Snakes
4. Disestablishment
5. Drafting the Bill of Rights
6. Legal Misfits in America: Jews, Catholics, and Latter-day Saints
7. Two’s Company, Three’s a Crime
8. Historical Interlude: The Irish and the Know-Nothings
9. Bible Wars
10. Separation of Church and School
11. Making a Federal Case Out of It: The Jehovah’s Witnesses
12. The Sin in Sincerity
13. Lemony Thicket: Modern Rules About Establishment
14. Sherbert and Yoder: Religious Freedom and the Limits of the Law
15. The Smith Case: The Peyote Road and the First Amendment
16. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act
17. RLUIPA and the Case of Jehovah v. Clarke
18. If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
19. Going to and Fro: Religion on Display
20. The New Sanctuary Movement
21. Separation of Church and Politics
22. Conclusions

Bibliography

“It is paramount that religious liberals and progressives cultivate and refine an ability to articulate the need for moral changes within the political system. That goal will require an understanding of the law as well as a moral vision for the world. Not an exclusive moral vision; not an “us versus them” environment of winners and losers. There is a dire need for effective action within a troubled society. Organizing for change is one means of response. Advocating for change based upon shared moral principles and a sense of faith is another, one often lacking from many liberal and progressive religious folks. The project of this book is to help encourage that next step, a step made repeatedly throughout a long and progressive history of effective social action and timely moral leadership. The arc of history does not always or easily bend toward justice. Sometimes to get matters moving, it needs a good and righteous whack.”

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