Religious Freedom and the Churches: Contemporary Challenges in the United States Today

Studies in Christian Ethics, Vol. 32, Issue 4 (2019)

Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1942

19 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2019

Date Written: July 17, 2019

Abstract

A crucial, but often overlooked, dimension of the human and constitutional right to religious freedom is the autonomy of religious institutions, associations, and societies with respect to matters of governance, doctrine, formation, and membership. Although the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed this autonomy in the context of American constitutional law, it is vulnerable, and even under threat, for a variety of reasons, including a general decline in the health of civil society and mediating associations and a crisis of confidence and authority caused by clerical sexual abuse and churches' failure to respond to it.

Keywords: Religious freedom, Freedom of Religion, Religious liberty, pluralism, Freedom of association, Hosanna-Tabor, clergy abuse, First Amendment, Religion clauses, Ministerial exception, Secularism

JEL Classification: K10, K38, K30

Suggested Citation

Garnett, Richard W., Religious Freedom and the Churches: Contemporary Challenges in the United States Today (July 17, 2019). Studies in Christian Ethics, Vol. 32, Issue 4 (2019); Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1942. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3421727

Richard W. Garnett (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

Room 327
P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States
574-631-6981 (Phone)
574-631-4197 (Fax)

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