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The Story of the School Prayer Decisions: Civil Religion under Assault


Thomas C. Berg


University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law

June 3, 2011

FIRST AMENDMENT STORIES, Richard Garnett, Andrew Koppelman, eds., Foundation Press, 2011
U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-18

Abstract:     
This chapter, from Foundation Press's forthcoming "First Amendment Stories" volume, traces the background, resolution, and impact of the Supreme Court's first school prayer decisions, Engel v. Vitale and Abington School Dist. v. Schempp. Among other things, the chapter traces the relation of the Regents' Prayer, struck down in Engel, to the nondenominational theistic civil religion of the 1950s, and the relation of constitutional attacks on the prayer to various criticisms of that civil religion from both religious and nonreligious quarters.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: First Amendment, Establishment Clause, Religious Freedom, Separation of Church and State, School Prayer, Civil Religion, Religious Minorities

JEL Classification: I20

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Date posted: June 6, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Berg, Thomas C., The Story of the School Prayer Decisions: Civil Religion under Assault (June 3, 2011). FIRST AMENDMENT STORIES, Richard Garnett, Andrew Koppelman, eds., Foundation Press, 2011; U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1857672

Contact Information

Thomas Charles Berg (Contact Author)
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law ( email )
1000 La Salle Avenue
Mail # MSL400
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015
United States

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