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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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Chapter Six: Intellectual Revolutions


← 96 | 97 →


Intellectual Revolutions


I ended the last chapter by stating that a problem with the current state of American jurisprudence is that the separation of church and state has morphed into the separation of religion from politics and public policy. How did this happen? I intend to use this chapter to show that revolutions take place in intellectual traditions within the framework of politics. I will further show that features of an intellectual revolution are present in the current debates concerning the place of religious reasoning in a liberal democracy.

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