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One Nation under Law: America's Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State Paperback – June 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0875806068 ISBN-10: 0875806066

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press (June 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875806066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875806068
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,652,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most innovative recent study of church-state relations in the early republic."—Journal of the Early Republic

"Unique and valuable... subtle and sophiticated scholarship. For those who specialize in church-state issues in America, this book is essential reading. "—Journal of Church and State

"One of the best scholarly works in years to argue effectively for the separation of church and state as part of the founders'original intent.' McGarvie proves himself in this book to be a superb historian of law and the history of ideas."—The American Journal of Legal History

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Douglas McGarvie, J.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of History and Law at the University of Richmond.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James V. Holton on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many books on "the separation of church and state" tend to revolve around the issue of was America founded as a "Christian nation," a question that is loaded with a lot of political and religious baggage. McGarvie weaves through that debate and poses a simple question--how did the transformation of American law affect the separation of church authority and state/government authority in the early republic?

The question may seem a bit abstruse, but McGarvy's answers are enlightening. One Nation Under Law looks at the disestablishment struggle not as a pro- or anti-religion issue (although there is some of that from the times), but as an issue of how legal structure affected politics. The distinction is important, as it frees the debate from the perils of the "Christian nation" question. McCarvy finds that many people supported the privatization (through incorporation) of religious institutions as the US transformed from a colonial communalism to a republican ideology based on Enlightment principles of individualism. Only after this took effect did the "separation of church and state" as we know it begin to form as a response to legal changes during the country's founding generation.

Well researched, with copious mention of other legal and history scholars, and packed into a manageable 191 pages. Will not lose the attention of the lay reader, useful to scholars of history, law and religion
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. S. W. on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
McGarvie explores an important topic, and addresses issues which we are currently discussing during this election year. He presents a readable text, a well researched analysis, and a thought provoking study.
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