This seminar utilizes Supreme Court decisions regarding the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment to introduce students to both judicial processes and their history and ongoing debates about the relationships between the state and religion/religions in the public sphere, dating from the origins of the Constitution and the First Amendment. In discussing legal confrontations over polygamy, school prayer, public evangelizing, and the use of public resources to support sectarian institutions, the Supreme Court decisions serve to raise questions for students about their own ideas about order and justice. The seminar readings include classic court decisions from the historical past and very recent decisions.
University at Buffalo (SUNY)Institution
Public College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Seminar Class Type
2020 Date Published
Religious Studies, History, Political Science, Other Discipline
Catholic, Indigenous, Judaism, New Religious Movements, Other Christianities, Protestant Religous Tradition