Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers


 Organizations and Institutes:

American Civil Liberties Union (The premier legal defender of civil liberties in the U.S., especially the First Amendment issues: Religious Liberty and church-state separation, free speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble, right to petition government for a redress of wrongs.)

Americans for Religious Liberty

Americans United for Separation of Church & State

Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty (A coalition of Baptist denominations in the U.S. unite to fund the BJC which focuses on defending religious liberty and church-state separation.)

First Amendment Center @ Vanderbilt University

Freedom From Religion Foundation (Generally critical of religious belief, FFRF promotes skepticism and agnostic or atheist views. I obviously do not share this outlook, but FFRF performs a useful function in working to make sure that government respects the rights of nonbelievers–freedom to worship also includes the freedom to be left alone.)

Interfaith Alliance (A grassroots organization of persons of faith promoting democratic values, defending religious liberty, challenging hatred and religious bigotry, and reinvigorating informed civic participation.)

International Religious Liberty Association (Since 1893 IRLA has promoted religious liberty for all people around the world.)

J. M. Dawson Institute for Church-State Studies (At Baylor University, Waco, TX)

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

Thomas Helwys Centre for the Study of Religious Freedom (At Bristol Baptist College in the U.K., the oldest Baptist institution of higher education in the world. Named after a pioneer Baptist leader and a pioneer defender of religious liberty.)

Bibliography on Religious Liberty and Church-State Separation (Continually updated as I find time. Feel free to suggest sources.)

Bainton, Roland H. The Travail of Religious Liberty. New York: Harper & Bros., 1981.

Barth, Karl. Church and State. Repr. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 1991.

________. Community, State, & Church: Three Essays. Repr. Wipf & Stock, 2004.

Boston, Rob. Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State. Prometheus  Books, 1993.

Church, Forrest, ed., The Separation of Church and State:  Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America’s Founders. Beacon Press, 2004.

Eck, Diana, How this “Christian Country” Has Now Become the Most Religiously Diverse Nation on Earth. New York:  HarperCollins,

Estep, William R., Revolution Within the Revolution:  The First Amendment in Historical Context, 1612-1789.  Eerdmans, 1990.

Evans, Bette Norit. Interpreting the Free Exercise of Religion:  The Constitution and American Pluralism. University of North Carolina, 1998.

Feldman, Noah. Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem–And What We Should Do About It. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005.

Flowers, Ronald B. That Godless Court? Supreme Court Decisions on Church-State Relationships. Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994.

Gaustad, Edwin S. Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America. Eerdmans, 1991.

Guenee, Bernard. Between Church and State: The Lives of Three French Prelates in the Late Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Haynes, Charles C. and Oliver Thomas, eds., Finding Common Ground:  A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Education. Nashville: The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center of Vanderbilt University, 1994.

Levy, Leonard.  The Establishment Clause:  Religion and the First Amendment. University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Miller, Robert Thomas and Ronald B. Flowers, Toward Benevolent Neutrality:  Church, State, and the Supreme Court. 5th ed., 2 vols. Baylor University Press, 1996.

Madeley, John T. S. and Zsolt Enyedi, eds., Church and State in Contemporary Europe: The Chimera of Neutrality. Frank Cass Publications, 2003.

Pilgrim, Walter E. Uneasy Neighbors: Church and State in the New Testament. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Fortress, 1999.

Ranke, Leopold. The History of the Popes, Their Church and State, and Especially of their Conflicts with Protestantism in the 16th and 17th Centuries, 3 vols. Adamant Media Corporation, 2001. Reprint of a classic first published in 1847.

Sabar, Galia. Church, State, and Society in Kenya: From Mediation to Opposition. Routledge, 2001.

John R. Stumme and Robert W. Tuttle, eds. Church and State: Lutheran Perspectives. Augsburg-Fortress, 2003.

Villa-Vicencio, Charles, ed. Between Christ and Caesar:  Classic and Contemporary Texts on Church and State. Eerdmans, 1986.

Wright, Nigel G., Free Church, Free State: The Positive Baptist Vision. Authentic Press, 2006.  Written by the Principal of Spurgeon’s College, primarily for the British context.

Journals and Periodicals on Church-State Relations:

Church and State Official magazine of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

European Journal for Church and State Research

Journal of Church and State, published by the J. M. Dawson Institute for Church-State Studies, Baylor University

Journal of Religion and Society

Journal of Law and Religion, published by the Hamline University School of Law

Liberty: A Magazine of Religious Freedom published by the International Religious Liberty Association, founded by Seventh Day Adventists, historic victims of religious discrimination.

Report from the Capital, magazine of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty

Rutgers’ Journal of Law and Religion published by Rutgers’ University’s law school


  1. Michael: I saw your post on Americans United and your link there to your site here, and just wanted to visit you and say “WELCOME; thither let us reason together.”

    I lok forward to exchanging thoughts, ideas with you.

    Good site.

    Comment by yahweh | May 4, 2009

  2. Thanks, Yahweh. Is that you, LORD? Your humble Leveller servant here doesn’t want to seem presumptious with your NAME and all. 🙂

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 4, 2009

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