• Oracle of Religious Liberty -- Review of John T. Noonan, Jr., The Lustre of the Country: The American Experience of Religious Freedom (1998)

    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Law, Religion, History
    Item Type:
    John T. Noonan Jr., Religious Liberty
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    In an impressive series of books, articles, briefs, and judicial opinions spanning nearly half a century, John T. Noonan, Jr. has established himself as one of the great oracles of religious liberty in twentieth-century America. The Lustre of Our Country is both a confirmation and a proclamation of the depth of his conviction and erudition on this cardinal legal and theological theme. The title of this volume is plucked from what Noonan considers one of the "Ur-texts" of American religious liberty -- James Madison's famous "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" of 1785, the pamphlet that finally broke the Anglican establishment policies of revolutionary Virginia, and that laid part of the foundation for the American constitutional experiment in granting religious freedom to all (pp. 72-74). The inspiration for this volume comes through clearly in Noonan's Introduction: "One might, but should not, attempt to conceal the experiences that color one's own conception of the issues. Let each one addressing this theme say where he or she comes from, and goes. I grew up in a church that formally denied free exercise and live now in the same church that has come to champion it. This whole book is a reflection on the experience."
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
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