Liberty of Conscience by Martha Nussbaum
In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality

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The respect for religious difference has formed the bedrock of our nation and made equality possible. Yet today we are told that “moral values”—code for a government shaped by religious concerns—must be the keystone of our social compact.

A rich and compelling chronicle of an essential idea, Liberty of Conscience tells the story of America’s great tradition of religious freedom. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s ambitious book is both a work of history and a pointed rejoinder to conservative efforts to break down barriers between church and state.


About Martha Nussbaum

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Martha Nussbaum, one of the leading moral philosophers of our time, holds appointments in the Law School, Divinity School, and Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago and is a board member in the university’s Human Rights Program. She is the author of twelve previous books on philosophy and ethics. Her book Cultivating Humanity won the Grawemeyer Award for Education. The recipient of twenty-two honorary degrees from universities around the world, she lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Published December 10, 2009 by Basic Books. 418 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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She considers such issues as same-sex marriage, polygamy, prayers in public schools (and the related question of whether school children can be compelled to recite the Pledge of Allegiance), the use of public funds to support sectarian schools, public display of religious symbols and the teaching...

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The New York Times

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(“Krakauer is known for writing about mountaineering and appears to have no credentials in the area of religion,” Nussbaum sniffs in a footnote — a strange note for an anti-elitist to sound.) But if Nussbaum is a bit off-key in her defense of the Mormons, her moral clarity snaps back into focus ...

Mar 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Liberty of Conscience: In Def...

Publishers Weekly

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In this engrossing history of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, Nussbaum (Cultivating Humanity ) makes a strong, thoroughgoing case for America as a haven of religious liberty for believers of all stripes.

Dec 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Liberty of Conscience: In Def...

Bookmarks Magazine

The prominence of a particular type of Christianity in our public life suggests the unequal worth of citizens who hold different religious beliefs, or no beliefs.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Liberty of Conscience: In Def...

The New York Review of Books

I am not an expert about Williams’s thought, but taking into account the period in which he wrote, the pervasiveness of his religious rhetoric, and the power of his religious convictions, I am disinclined to construe occasional passages that do not rely directly on religious premises as demonstra...

Jun 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Liberty of Conscience: In Def...

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