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Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The respect for religious difference has formed the bedrock of our nation and made equality possible. Yet today we are told that ?moral valuesOCO?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 AmericaOCOs great tradition of religio ...more
ebook, 417 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published February 4th 2007)
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Mar 09, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author of Liberty of Conscience is one of those books that (so far) has been a joy to read because it so closely echoes my own beliefs and ideas about what the separation of church and state (not to mention religious freedom) is all about. The author has presented her thoughts and ideas in a clear, scholarly way that argues for the founding fathers intention to build a country that "respects the preciousness and dignity of the individual human conscience and the equality of all religions (or ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Gobasso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though the culture wars are less prominent this election because of the economy they are still out there. This book traces the development of our freedom of conscience from colonial America and Roger Williams through the First Amendment up to todays' Supreme Court decisions. Martha Nussbaum does a fine job of presenting the diverse opinions about constitutional law and freedom of conscience philosophy. She has her own viewpoints which I agree with. I'm sure many people who have a better gra ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Ekkeko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Legal philosophers
Recommended to Ekkeko by: A Librarian
I've learned that while the Establishment/Free Exercise clause is plainly written, it's interpretation is always in question. The ideal of free exercise of conscience has always and will always be under attack by those people who benefit from it being in place. Each generation must preserve and enhance this basic fundamental U.S. ideal.

The other thing I've learned is that Ms. Nussbuam needs a better editor. There are some really fascinating chapters in the book, but it starts off as a history bo
Nov 18, 2009 ReadHowYouWant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Praised by Paul Weithman, author of Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship, as “Historically informed and philosophically sophisticated, thoroughly accessible and elegantly written…A shining example of American public philosophy at its best,” Liberty of Conscience is a historically based argument that equal respect for all citizens is the bedrock of America’s tradition of religious freedom. Weaving together political history, philosophical ideas, and key constitutional cases, this is a rich ...more
A nice read, particularly for anyone interested in some of the more legal history surrounding the First Amendment's religious clauses and the dual protection of free exercise of one's religion and freedom from the government imposing a particular religion. I tend to do a fair amount of constitutional law work, particularly with the First Amendment, so there wasn't much in the book that surprised me, but its a definite read for anyone wanting to understand the legal history of the issues that are ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Marks54 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about the American legal tradition around freedom of religion written by a well known philosopher. I had never read anything by Nussbaum and tried this after reading a feature about her in the NY Times magazine. It is very clearly written and thoughtful. It is obvious that there is a long intellectual tradition on these issues of which I am not overburdened with knowledge, but I learned much from this book and wanted to read more by Nussbaum.
Dec 02, 2008 Aleighdavis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She repeats herself a lot in this one and is definitely trying to reach a broader reading audience. It's a little rocky as far as sticking to her audience, but overall I would highly recommend this one to those who think that removing the word "God" from the pledge of allegiance would be the cataclysmic sign of the apocalypse.
Miguel Soto
Para evitar la "violación del alma", Nussbaum se añade a la tradición norteamericana del derecho y argumenta a favor de la "libertad de conciencia", cada quien puede tener las creencias (religiosas) que desee, o no tenerlas, y esto no lo hace inferior a los demás ciudadanos, pero ojo, tampoco superior: ni privilegios ni exclusión.
Mar 25, 2011 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book three stars not because I agree with the author's argument. However, I am glad that she wrote the book and articulated her position well because it provides the opportunity for a meaningful engagement with the liberal tradition that she defends. I believe that this liberal tradition has fatal flaws. This book puts them forward for all to see.
Sep 21, 2008 Hands rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: green-office
When, and why, did the title change? My copy is subtitled "In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality".
Keith Sader
Sep 30, 2013 Keith Sader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tour de force of the religious history of the U.S.
Oct 01, 2008 Savola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intersting. So far it has explained how religious freedom began in American.
Interesting particularly for its survey of US court cases dealing with various aspects of this subject.
Extremely thought-provoking. Highly recommended for those interested in the intersection of religious freedom and law in the U.S.
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Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and ...more
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