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Pluralist Establishment: Reflections on the English Experience

15 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2006  

Robert E. Rodes Jr.

Notre Dame Law School


England's historical and current synthesis of Church and State differs greatly from other European and American experiences. It contrasts sharply with the path taken by most states, which chose to cope with religious pluralism by privatizing religion and by trying to base public life on secular views of human nature. This paper reviews the unique inception, and continuance, of the church-state throughout English history. It also reviews the unique manner in which England chose to deal with religious pluralism while maintaining its established church. After reviewing the English experience of establishment of religion, this paper concludes that the total wall of separation which the United States has placed between Church and State is neither necessary nor desirable. Allowing for some integration of Church and State firmly incorporates the universality of many human concerns into an otherwise secular culture and safeguards against denial of the transcendence of the human person.

Suggested Citation

Rodes, Robert E., Pluralist Establishment: Reflections on the English Experience. Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 12, 1991; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 06-23. Available at SSRN:

Robert E. Rodes Jr. (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

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