Professor Edward Eberle examines the role of religion in Western society in an insightful new textbook published this week by Ashgate Press.
"Church and State in Western Society: Established Church, Cooperation and Separation" by Edward J. Eberle, Roger Williams University School of Law
The role of religion as a contentious and motivating force in society is examined here through the lens of the church-state dynamic in countries with three very different approaches to this crucial relationship. Focusing on the United Kingdom, where there is official recognition of one religion by the state, the United States, where law imposes a separatism between religion and the state and Germany, where there is cooperation between the church and state, this book compares these three models. It describes the components of each model, illustrates their operation and uses case law to examine what each model might learn from the other. Controversial and timely issues such as the refusal of medical treatment on religious grounds, the wearing of Islamic headscarves and ritual animal slaughter are discussed with new insight, providing a comprehensive review of varied approaches to law, government and religious freedom.
Contents: Foreword, Donald P. Commers; Preface; Introduction; History; Basic constitutional text and structure; Personal religious freedom in the United Kingdom; Personal religious freedom in Germany; Personal religious freedom in the United States; Church-state relations in the United Kingdom; Church-state relations in Germany; Church-state relations in the United States; Comparative observations; Selected bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Edward J. Eberle is Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law. He is the co-author of the casebook Comparative Constitutional Law (Lexis/Nexis, forthcoming) and author of Dignity and Liberty: Constitutional Visions in Germany and the United States (Praeger, 2001).
Reviews: 'The demarcation of the boundaries between state and religious communities has always been a sensitive matter in the West. Eberle's thorough treatment and comparative analysis of three of the principal models acceptable in the West – establishment, cooperation, and separation – serves as an important and timely contribution to the debate.' - Larry Catá Backer, Pennsylvania State University, USA
'Professor Eberle's book is a tour de force that should be read by scholars, judges, attorneys, and others interested in the area of law and religion. He has the unique ability to compare complex court decisions regarding religion, from three nations, in a clear and interesting manner. His insights and analysis will be illuminating to all readers.' - Mark S. Kende, Drake University, USA