This month, Pickering and Chatto Publishers will publish Church-State Relations in the Early American Republic, 1787-1846 by James S. Kabala (Rhode Island College). The renowned historian Gordon Wood has this to say about Kabala’s superb looking book: “This superb account of church-state relations during the most tumultuous years of American Christendom reveals that our present disputes over the separation of church and state are nothing new. Kabala’s deeply researched book contains the fullest and clearest summary that we have of the bitter struggles during the six decades following 1780 that led to the Protestant non-sectarian consensus of the 1840s.” The publisher’s description follows.
Americans of the Early Republic devoted close attention to the question of what should be the proper relationship between church and state. This issue engaged participants from all religions, denominations and party affiliations. Kabala examines this debate across six decades and shows that an understanding of this period is not possible without appreciating the key role religion played in the formation of the nation.