Separating Church and State
Amid today’s tensions over a proper understanding of separation of church and state, University of Missouri law professor Carl Esbeck and Samford University historian Jonathan Den Hartog examine the origins of that foundational doctrine.
The two scholars discuss how Americans understood and expanded the practice of religious freedom in the era of the Revolution and the Early Republic. The federal government never had an established church. But several states did. Once the colonies broke from the British Crown and declared themselves sovereign states, they were forced to address—and in many cases reconsider—church-state relations as they adopted new constitutions.
Esbeck and Den Hartog are the editors of a new collection of essays, Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776 to 1833.
Co-sponsored by Graves Garrett, LLC.