The Internationalization of Church-State Issues
CHURCH AND STATE ISSUES IN AMERICA TODAY, 3 Volumes, Ann W. Duncan & Steven L. Jones, eds., Praeger Publishers, 2008
35 Pages Posted: 22 May 2009 Last revised: 9 Jun 2012
Date Written: May 19, 2009
The law of church and state has traditionally referred, at least in American legal discourse, to First Amendment jurisprudence involving such issues as prayer in public schools, Sunday closing laws, public displays of religious imagery, and aid to parochial schools. Its particular concern has been the work of courts in interpreting the First Amendment’s requirement that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, the twentieth century human rights revolution, particularly in the area of religious liberties, has globalized the law of church and state and transformed the scope of debate about the relationship between religion, ethics, and government. This paper surveys the landscape of church-state issues in light of the human rights revolution. Particular attention is given to the International Religious Freedom Act and the role of international law in constitutional interpretation.
Keywords: Church-State, Religious Freedom, Globalization, Human Rights, International Religious Freedom Act
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