Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Law of Church and State in America available online

When the Rev. Dean M. Kelley died in 1997, he had completed 20 years of work on his manuscript and found a publisher. However, editing was still in progress at the publisher and as time went on the task of updating developments in church-state law for the book became monumental. The project was canceled.

"The opportunity for online publication rescued a masterpiece from oblivion," write the members of the manuscript committee, who brought Kelley's work to its present form. Lenore Hervey, Kelley's only child and the copyright holder, agreed to provide the work freely for online use. The First Amendment Center agreed to make the work available on its site. The book’s chapters are posted as PDFs.

Kelley’s book covers a range of topics including autonomy of religious bodies, evangelism and fundraising, religious influence on public policy, religion and schools, and the defense of religious practices.

"As the long-time director of civil and religious liberty at the National Council of Churches of Christ, the Rev. Dean Kelley was one of the most effective advocates for religious freedom of his era," says Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center. "This monumental work on the law of church and state reflects both his deep knowledge of the issues and his extraordinary ability to provide a lively, informed account of case law central to understanding the relationship between religion and government in America."
The First Amendment Center has made the book available online in pdf format. You may find it at The Law of Church and State in America.

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