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Religion and the Constitution, Fifth Edition

  • Michael W. McConnell
  • Thomas C. Berg
  • Christopher C. Lund
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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Religion and the Constitution, Fifth Edition, is a casebook unparalleled in how it synthesizes judicial decisions and legal doctrines together with materials from history, the study of religion, and other related disciplines.

Religion and the Constitution, Fifth Edition, written by a team of well-known Constitutional Law scholars, thoughtfully examines the relationship between government and religion within the framework of the U.S. Constitution. This proven casebook is suitable for courses or seminars in Religious Liberty, Religion and the Constitution, or Religious Institutions and the Law. The Fifth Edition has been updated with discussions of the Supreme Court’s many recent religious liberty cases, decided against the tumultuous backdrop of pandemic restrictions and intensifying “culture wars.”

New to the Fifth Edition:

  • Recent decisions on COVID-related restrictions of religious worship and the meaning of the requirement that laws burdening religion be “neutral and generally applicable.”
  • Recent decisions on the clash between sexual-orientation nondiscrimination laws and religious objectors: Masterpiece Cakeshop and Fulton v. Philadelphia.
  • Recent decisions forbidding exclusion of religious entities from generally available government funding programs: Trinity Lutheran v. Comer and Espinoza v. Dept. of Revenue.
  • The recent decision presumptively validating longstanding government displays with religious content, namely American Legion v. American Humanist Assn.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • A casebook structured to stress three recurring themes that contextualize current debate regarding matters of church-and-state:
    • Free exercise of religion in the face of government regulation.
    • Government financial assistance to religious institutions.
    • The role of religion in government institutions, such as schools.
  • Notes and questions that connect older controversies with modern constitutional disputes.
  • Problems that enable students to understand the legal materials on their own terms and apply them to new issues.
  • A thorough examination and explanation of the various interrelations between the free exercise and establishment clauses.
  • Historical and other background materials that are sufficiently scholarly and authoritative that the United States Supreme Court recently cited the book in its decision in Espinoza v. Dep’t of Revenue (2020)


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    2023-24 Supplement (PDF)
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    Fifth Edition
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    Connected eBook + Hardcover
    Connected eBook (Digital Only)
    Constitutional Law
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