Religious Establishment and Autonomy

6 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2009

Date Written: April 16, 2009


Kent Greenawalt claims that one rationale for nonestablishment of religion is personal autonomy. If, however, the law is barred from manipulating people in religious directions (and thus violating their autonomy), while it remains free to manipulate them in nonreligious directions (and thus violate their autonomy in exactly the same way), autonomy as such is not what is being protected. The most promising alternative is to understand religion as a distinctive human good that is being protected from government interference.

Keywords: Religious, Establishment, Autonomy, Greenawalt, Personal Autonomy

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Koppelman, Andrew M., Religious Establishment and Autonomy (April 16, 2009). Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 25, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-33, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 09-16, Available at SSRN:

Andrew M. Koppelman (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8431 (Phone)

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics