Thomas C. Berg

Document Type



Over the last fifty years, the evolution of church-state jurisprudence in the Supreme Court of the United States has closely paralleled developments in race relations in the country. This Article examines how developments in race relations may have facilitated both the rise of strict church-state separationism in the 1960s and 1970s and its decline in the last twenty years, tracing the course of church-state relations not only in the Court itself, but in the broader society. The Article specifically argues that the strict separationism of the 1960s and early 1970s partially stemmed from a concern for religious minority rights inspired largely by the struggle for equal rights for blacks. In turn, this Article argues that strict separationism has declined in the last twenty years as secular-oriented theologies of social activism have faced serious challenges and lost ground, and as developments in race relations have aided the rise of governmental aid to religious educational institutions.