Cover for HALL: Separating Church and State: Roger Williams and Religious Liberty

Separating Church and State

Roger Williams and Religious Liberty

Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island, is famous as an apostle of religious tolerance and a foe of religious establishments.

In Separating Church and State, Timothy Hall combines impressive historical and legal scholarship to explore Williams's theory of religious liberty and relate it to current debate. Williams's fierce religious dogmaticism, Hall argues, is precisely what led to his religious tolerance, making him one of the most articulate champions of the argument for the necessary separation of church and state.

"Both timely and provocative. . . . Offers Williams's largely overlooked but deeply important perspective on the peaceful coexistence of committed believers of diverse faiths. The book also brings into question crucial tenets of the United States Supreme Court's First Amendment religion clause jurisprudence at a time when many are raising questions about it." -- Marci A. Hamilton, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York City

"Hall has the entire Williams corpus under his command, and he plays the relevant texts like a master organist. He also has the legal corpus equally at his fingertips. One of the great strengths of his book is that it bridges the too often separate fields of history and jurisprudence." -- Edwin Gaustad, author of Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America

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