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Religion-State Relations in the United States and Germany
The Quest for Neutrality


  • Date Published: December 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107015821

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About the Authors
  • This comparative analysis of the constitutional law of religion-state relations in the United States and Germany focuses on the principle of state neutrality. A strong emphasis on state neutrality, a notoriously ambiguous concept, is a shared feature in the constitutional jurisprudence of the US Supreme Court and the German Federal Constitutional Court, but neutrality does not have the same meaning in both systems. In Germany neutrality tends to indicate more distance between church and state, whereas the opposite is the case in the United States. Neutrality also has other meanings in both systems, making straightforward comparison more difficult than it might seem. Although the underlying trajectory of neutrality is different in both countries, the discussion of neutrality breaks down into largely parallel themes. By examining those themes in a comparative perspective, the meaning of state neutrality in religion-state relations can be delineated.

    • Presents a two-country comparison that exposes the complexities and interpretative nuances in both countries
    • Emphasis on 'neutrality' allows a more focused consideration of the social, historical and political situation in the two countries
    • Considers the concept of state neutrality beyond legal doctrine by placing the discussion in a political and historical context
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107015821
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Comparative Approach:
    1. The past and present of comparative constitutional studies
    2. The culture wars, American exceptionalism, and a comparative analysis of religion-state relations
    3. Employing a comparative approach
    Part II. Religion-State Relations and the Role of Neutrality:
    4. Toward neutrality
    5. The role of history
    6. The roots of neutrality
    7. Delineating neutrality
    8. Conclusion: the future of neutrality in comparative perspective.

  • Author

    Claudia E. Haupt, George Washington University, Washington DC
    Claudia E. Haupt is the International and Comparative Law Fellow at George Washington University Law School, Washington, DC. She previously practised law in Cologne and taught US constitutional history as an adjunct in the department of Anglo-American History at the University of Cologne.

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