To An Unknown God: Religious Freedom On Trial
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To An Unknown God: Religious Freedom On Trial

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Told with the grace of a novel, To an Unknown God: Religious Freedom on Trial is a modern legal epic chronicling the six-year duel between two remarkable men with very different visions of religious freedom and of America.

Neither man sought the conflict that would erupt into one of the most provocative and influential Supreme Court decisions. Al Smith, a nationally known c...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published March 15th 2001 by St. Martin's Press
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The book is about a particularly interesting case: Employment Division v Smith. Hidden behind this seemingly innocuous name lay a conflict pitting the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Perpetually in conflict, those two clauses of the First Amendment create a tension that all feel and few understand. Just how far can the government go in controlling behavior that is in conflict with society’s mores yet which for some may be considered...more
"To An Unknown God" captures the complications inherent in the ideal of religious freedom in the most human of ways. Garrett Epps's retelling of the story behind the landmark Supreme Court case "Employment Division v. Smith" drives home the fact that the events of a person's life and the judicial opinion those events prompt can be as tenuously connected to one another as reality is to a dream--even though that opinion may alter the lives of many people.

Epps skillfully fleshes out and connects e...more
Jan 18, 2010 (a)lyss(a) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in history
Good book-much better than I expected. It was really interesting to delve into the lives of those involved in such an influential court case. It also really helped me understand what exactly the rulings in the case were and what the court considered issues.
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Garrett Epps (born in 1950 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American legal scholar, novelist, and journalist. He is Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore; previously he was the Orlando J. and Marian H. Hollis Professor of Law at the University of Oregon.

Epps attended St. Christopher's School and Harvard College, where he was the President of The Harvard Crimson. He later received an M.A. in...more
More about Garrett Epps...
Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America Wrong and Dangerous: Ten Right-Wing Myths about Our Constitution The Shad Treatment (Virginia Bookshelf) American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution The Floating Island: A Tale of Washington

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