Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed
For more than 100 years, Thomas Jefferson and his Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom stood at the center of our understanding of religious liberty and the First Amendment. The expansive Jeffersonian vision - including his insistence that political freedom and free thought would be at risk if we didn't keep government out of the church and vice versa, enjoyed almost total support until Justice William Rehnquist called this vision '"demonstrably incorrect" history. In Religious Freedom, John Ragosta takes up the challenge, reviewing Jefferson's beliefs, how they influenced his understanding, and - bringing Jefferson into our time, explains that he demanded a strict separation of church and state but never sought a wholly secular public square.
John Ragosta, a visiting assistant professor at Hamilton College for the 2012-13 academic year, is a historian and lawyer who has published extensively in legal and historical journals. He practiced international trade law and litigation for twenty years, has taught both law and history, and has held fellowships at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. John is also a beekeeper. Book selling and signing to follow.
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