1st Edition

Religion, Education and the State
An Unprincipled Doctrine in Search of Moorings

ISBN 9781138255135
Published October 16, 2016 by Routledge
214 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

In the context of education, Church and State issues are of growing importance and appear to be increasingly divisive. This volume critically examines the developing jurisprudence relating to religion in the schools beginning with Everson v. Board of Education, where the US Supreme Court discussed the wall of separation between Church and State. The study traces both how the Court's views have evolved during this period and how, through recharacterizations of past opinions and the facts underlying them, the Court has appeared to interpret Establishment Clause guarantees in light of the past jurisprudence when in reality that jurisprudence has been turned on its head. The Court not only offers an unstable jurisprudence that is more likely to promote than avoid the problems that the Establishment Clause was designed to prevent, but approaches Establishment Clause issues in a way that decreases the likelihood that an acceptable compromise on these important issues can be reached. The study focuses on the situation in the US but the important issue of religion, education and the state has great relevance in many jurisdictions.



Mark Strasser is at the Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio, USA


'Religion, Education, and the State is an invaluable guide to, and powerful critique of, the Supreme Court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence related to education. Strasser's study is unique in its careful attention to the facts and details of the cases, and this attention to detail pays off in a richer understanding of the doctrine - and its flaws.' Jessie Hill, Case Western Reserve University, USA 'A fresh new perspective on religion and the schools. Professor Strasser shrewdly demonstrates the inadequacies of the Supreme Court's jurisprudence. He then points the way to a more balanced and satisfactory approach to protecting our constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and disestablishment in the realm of education.' Leslie Griffin, University of Houston Law Center, USA 'In Religion, Education and the State, Mark Strasser has done an exceptional job of cataloging and distilling the major Establishment Clause decisions from Everson v. Bd. of Education to the present. Strasser demonstrates the disingenuous way in which the Court has treated prior precedent, especially over the last few decades, and gives one of the best accounts to date of the doctrinal and theoretical mess created by the Court's mischaracterization of precedent.' Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law, USA '... this book ha[s] many strengths. Though the transformation of Establishment Clause has been much written about, Strasser provides a more detailed account of how doctrinal analysis was used to accomplish this change, especially with regard to funding.' The Law and Politics Book Review 'Overall this book gives an incredibly detailed and precise account of the Establishment Clause jurisprudence from Everson to the present day. In doing so Strasser does not shy away from the complexities that have resulted but rather tackles them face on.' Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 'Religion, Education and the State is at its best when it explains the nuances and ch