Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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The Constitutional Law of Religion

Course Abbreviation: 
Credit Only: N Anon Gr: Y

This course examines current constitutional doctrine concerning religion under the First Amendment to the Constitution. The focus will be on the essential cases and principles of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. These cases and principles are organized along three thematic lines: (1) the regulation of religious activity (free exercise and neutrality, governmental interests, legislative accommodation), (2) the funding of religious activity (establishment and neutrality, governmental support of religious institutions), and (3) the treatment of religion in government's culture shaping activities (public schools, school curriculum, religious speech). The course ends with a discussion of the definition of "religion" for purposes of federal constitutional law.

Larry Catá Backer