Most likely, Tisa Wenger’s new book Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal is not on many law professors’ reading lists. But for anyone who is interested in issues of church and state, race, and American empire, it should be. Wenger has uncovered a powerful collection of movements, legal claims, and government interference in religious life in the early twentieth century. Many of us have either never heard of them, or have not understood how crucial they were to religion’s role in public policy and (occasionally) resistance to government power. This is not a book written by a legal expert: the terms “disestablishment” and “free exercise” don’t appear here. But it is full of constitutional claims and legal conflict, as well as a careful examination of the incentives for invoking religious freedom.Read on here.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Gordon on Wenger, "Religious Freedom"
Over at JOTWELL, LHB guest blogger Sarah Barringer Gordon (University of Pennsylvania) has posted an admiring review of Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), by Tisa Wenger (Yale University). Here's a taste: