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The Tragedy of Religious Freedom Hardcover – June 10, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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A sophisticated and thoughtful book, which offers fresh insights on a central question of religious liberty. (Philip Hamburger, author of Separation of Church and State)

The Tragedy of Religious Freedom is a first-rate contribution to the law-and-religion conversation. This conversation--how to think about, and how to effectively protect in law, religious freedom in a constitutional democracy--is a lively and timely one, and DeGirolami is an impressive participant. (Richard W. Garnett, Notre Dame Law School)

DeGirolami's is a thoughtful and sophisticated meditation on the protean relationship between law and faith in a society committed to religious freedom. His intellectual and cultural influences are broad and rewarding; his style is rich and accessible; and his critique of both theoretical foundationalism and skepticism is profound and compelling. The Tragedy of Religious Freedom is an important book that will undoubtedly influence and enrich this discussion for years to come.
(Ian Bartrum Journal of Church and State 2013-09-01)

DeGirolami sharply criticizes the current state of legal theory regarding religious freedom in the U.S. and offers a solution he claims will cure many present ills. (M. D. Brewer Choice 2014-02-01)

One of the best recent books on constitutional law. (Adam J. White Weekly Standard 2014-05-07)

DeGirolami’s Tragedy is perhaps the single best exposition of ‘Burkean constitutionalism’ in decades…It is the most nuanced, thoughtful, and effective explanation of ‘Burkean’ jurisprudence in a generation, and it deserves the widest possible audience. (Adam J. White Commentary 2014-09-01)

About the Author

Marc O. DeGirolami is Associate Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (June 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674072669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674072664
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Edward Mechmann on March 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an outstanding contribution to understanding the law of religious liberty. Clearly written, extremely well argued, and persuasively illustrated with case examples. It would be tough going for a reader with no prior familiarity with this area of the law, but for any lawyer or law student, it is a must-read.
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7 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have followed Mr. De Girolami blog trail for a while, because he is one of the smarmiest reactionary Catholic voices out there, given to petty harangues about about matters as diverse as gay marriage & the "paganism" of Impressionist art. He seems to take his own view very uncritically to heart, and imagine that his knowledge is apt to keep others at bay. But the matters he is messing with are too important, No dummy surely, but his book shows why few people trust University presses anymore as signs of quality. I am sure his parents who are Harvard medical profs are delighted to see their offspring get a book published from Harvard, but the rest of us who must allow for liberty's sake, the toxin of a view that our cherished ideals of liberty are "comic" to this man, are not so happy. The typical strategy of Catholic reactionaries nowadays is to make it sound that they have considered a number of views, and are selecting the best for good reasons. By contrast, one should note that the very essence of ideas of "assent" that governs the minds of such people explicitly since the encyclical of John Paul II "Ex Corde" tell the real story. In fact, a whole raft of real-world positions are off limits from the start for such thinkers as Mr. DeGirolami, though he would pretend otherwise, and that he has come up with a real-world tragic alternative, considering all. In other words, as a Catholic academic, teaching at a Catholic school, his own assertion to the contrary must be prevarication, or at least dissembling. That is not tragedy, it just plain old lying for a cause. In the same way, he would like to assert that his consideration of "values pluralism" is an ample one (for a non-ample values pluralism would sound silly on its face!).Read more ›
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