By Thomas Buckely
The significance of the Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom goes far beyond the borders of the Old Dominion. Its influence ultimately extended to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the separation of church and state. In his latest book, Establishing Religious Freedom: Jefferson's Statute in Virginia, Thomas Buckley tells the story of the statute, beginning with its background in the struggles of the colonial dissenters against an oppressive Church of England. When the Revolution forced the issue of religious liberty, Thomas Jefferson drafted his statute and James Madison guided its passage through the state legislature. Displacing an established church by instituting religious freedom, the Virginia statute provided the most substantial guarantees of religious liberty of any state in the new nation.
376 pages, Hardcover, ISBN 978-0813935034, University of Virginia Press, 2014.
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