... The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution (Harvard University Press 2014) is an outstanding addition to the literature on American constitutional development. The book argues that the progressive critique of the Constitution in the early twentieth century that led to the New Deal was presaged and to some extent made possible by earlier social movements of evangelical Christians in the nineteenth century who sought to ban alcohol and lotteries. The idea that the Constitution's practical meaning must adjust to changing social conditions is often associated with the progressive critique of the 1920s and 1930s. But Compton shows that evangelicals made similar moves decades before in order to reshape constitutional understandings and justify government power to ban alcohol and lottery sales.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Jack Balkin: "The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution"
Jack Balkin informs us about John W. Compton's The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution (Harvard University Press 2014) here. A taste: