How Jefferson and Madison ensured religious freedom in the United States

Thomas Jefferson considered the establishment of religious freedom as a governing principle in the United States to be one of the great accomplishments of his life. It was not his accomplishment alone, however, but the result of sustained cooperation with the “father of the Constitution,” James Madison. The Grand Collaboration is the first comprehensive study of Jefferson and Madison’s mutual endeavor to ensure free inquiry, freedom of conscience, and the separation of church and state, examining their fifty-year partnership beginning with the Virginia Declaration of Rights and culminating with the founding of the University of Virginia as the nation’s first truly secular institution of higher education. In an era of increasing concern with the “original intentions” of the founding generation, Steven Green, one of our great authorities on the concept and history of religious freedom, represents the best possible guide to these complex, critical issues—issues that continue to confront our society in the twenty-first century.
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