Divided by God by Noah Feldman
America's Church-State Problem--and What We Should Do About It

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A brilliant and urgent appraisal of one of the most profound conflicts of our time

Even before George W. Bush gained reelection by wooing religiously devout "values voters," it was clear that church-state matters in the United States had reached a crisis. With Divided by God, Noah Feldman shows that the crisis is as old as this country--and looks to our nation's past to show how it might be resolved.

Today more than ever, ours is a religiously diverse society: Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. And yet more than ever, committed Christians are making themselves felt in politics and culture.

What are the implications of this paradox? To answer this question, Feldman makes clear that again and again in our nation's history diversity has forced us to redraw the lines in the church-state divide. In vivid, dramatic chapters, he describes how we as a people have resolved conflicts over the Bible, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the teaching of evolution through appeals to shared values of liberty, equality, and freedom of conscience. And he proposes a brilliant solution to our current crisis, one that honors our religious diversity while respecting the long-held conviction that religion and state should not mix.

Divided by God speaks to the headlines, even as it tells the story of a long-running conflict that has made the American people who we are.


About Noah Feldman

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Noah Feldman is Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard University and the author of five previous books, most recently Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices. A Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard, Feldman has a bachelor's degree from Harvard, a law degree from Yale, and a doctorate in Islamic thought from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He clerked for Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. In 2003, he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of an interim constitution. He has been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and is a columnist for Bloomberg View.
Published May 15, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 320 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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the founders, he argues, “did not think that the state needed to be protected from the dangers of religious influence, nor were they especially concerned with keeping religious symbolism out of the public sphere.” Just so, that freedom does not mean that the government should necessarily be behol...

May 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Divided by God: America's Chu...

The New York Times

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Noah Feldman thinks evangelicals and secularists can find common ground.

Jul 24 2005 | Read Full Review of Divided by God: America's Chu...

Huffington Post

This peculiarity is epitomized by the fact that the Supreme Court, despite having played a major role in advancing the separation of church and state in recent decades, begins its own proceedings by announcing "God save the United States and this Honorable Court."

Jun 04 2013 | Read Full Review of Divided by God: America's Chu...

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