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American ConservatismNOMOS LVI$
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Sanford Levinson, Melissa Williams, and Joel Parker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812370.001.0001

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The Worms and the Octopus: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Conservatism

The Worms and the Octopus: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Conservatism

(p.160) 4 The Worms and the Octopus: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Conservatism
American Conservatism

Richard W. Garnett

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the institutional freedom to be accorded to religious institutions. It proposes that near the heart of anything called conservatism should be an appreciation for the place and role of non-state authorities in promoting the common good and the flourishing of persons and a commitment to religious freedom for individuals and institutions alike, secured in part through constitutional limits on the powers of political authorities. The most efficient sorting device is the idea, or simply the term, “separation of church and state.” Indeed, the idea of “separation” and the image of a “wall” are near the heart of many American citizens’ and commentators’ thinking about law and religion, faith and public life, and church and state.

Keywords:   institutional freedom, religious institutions, conservatism, religious freedom, constitutional limits

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