What is 'An Establishment of Religion?'

9 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011 Last revised: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by William W. Van Alstyne

William W. Van Alstyne

Duke University School of Law; William & Mary Law School

Date Written: 1987


This critical examination of the phrase “an establishment of religion” contained within the First Amendment uses an analysis to the exact language to draw out several possible interpretations, including: state established churches, the conventional understanding restricting any legislation dealing with religion, and the existence of religion in the actual operation of government.

Keywords: First Amendment, Establishment Clause, religion

Suggested Citation

Van Alstyne, William W., What is 'An Establishment of Religion?' (1987). North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 65, p. 909, 1987, William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-142, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931037

William W. Van Alstyne (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

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Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

William & Mary Law School ( email )

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P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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