The challenge of pluralism church and state in five democracies
Now in a thoroughly revised and updated edition, this essential text offers a rigorous, systematic comparison of church-state relations in the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, and England. As successful and stable political democracies, these five countries share a commitment to protecting the religious rights of their citizens. Yet as the book demonstrates, each has taken substantially different approaches to resolving basic church-state questions. Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper examine the historical roots of those differences and explain how each state addresses contemporary church-state issues. The authors judge each governments success in protecting the religious rights of its citizens using a framework based on the ideal of governmental neutrality or evenhandedness toward people of all faiths and of none. Providing clarity on the little-understood, evolving relationship between church and state in the West, this book provides an invaluable comparative analysis of a topic that is increasingly a source of profound political and social conflict.