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Competing Schemas Within the American Liberal Democracy

An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Differing Perceptions of Church and State


Shannon Holzer

Competing Schemas Within the American Liberal Democracy is a compelling book that dispels many of the common myths concerning Church and State. This book shows that how one approaches the subject of religion and politics largely determines what types of conclusions one will draw. Shannon Holzer is not concerned with creating a polemic. Instead, he shows that the subject of Church and State is much wider in scope than strict separationists would have one believe. When most scholars write on the subject of religion and politics they do so from a single academic discipline. The strength of this book lays in the fact that Dr. Holzer is an accomplished scholar in many different academic disciplines and can approach this complex subject from several different areas of inquiry. In doing so, Dr. Holzer offers a more comprehensive approach to the subject. This book makes use of the many relevant disciplines regarding Church and State, including: history, political theory, philosophy of religion, epistemology, legal theory, and history. As such, this text can be used in a multitude of subjects. Scholars will find Competing Schemas Within the American Liberal Democracy to be intellectually stimulating while clearly written and easily comprehended. Whether in the classroom or in one’s personal library, this book is necessary for those who are interested in the highly contentious and often misunderstood subject of Church and State.
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I am deeply grateful to all those who encouraged me throughout the process of writing this dissertation. I specifically want to thank Suzanne Sellers for goading me on to finish. I also want to thank Alexandra Coolidge for her confidence in me when my own confidence was absent.

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