The impossibility of religious freedom
- Sullivan, Winnifred Fallers, 1950-
- Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2005.
- Physical description
- 286 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
KF228 .W353 S85 2005
- Unknown KF228 .W353 S85 2005
- Includes bibliographical references (p. -280) and index.
- Outlaw religion
- The trial : the plaintiffs
- The trial : the other witnesses
- Legal religion
- Free religion.
- The Constitution may guarantee it. But religious freedom in America is, in fact, impossible. So argues this timely and iconoclastic work by law and religion scholar Winnifred Sullivan. Sullivan uses as the backdrop for the book the trial of Warren vs. Boca Raton, a recent case concerning the laws that protect the free exercise of religion in America. The trial, for which the author served as an expert witness, concerned regulations banning certain memorials from a multiconfessional nondenominational cemetery in Boca Raton, Florida. The book portrays the unsuccessful struggle of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish families in Boca Raton to preserve the practice of placing such religious artifacts as crosses and stars of David on the graves of the city-owned burial ground. Sullivan demonstrates how, during the course of the proceeding, citizens from all walks of life and religious backgrounds were harassed to define just what their religion is. She argues that their plight points up a shocking truth: religion cannot be coherently defined for the purposes of American law, because everyone has different definitions of what religion is. Indeed, while religious freedom as a political idea was arguably once a force for tolerance, it has now become a force for intolerance, she maintains.
- Supplemental links
Table of contents only
Contributor biographical information
- Publication date
- Winnifred Fallers Sullivan.