Did the American Founders Intend to Separate Church from State?

2018 Constitution Day Lecture

Vincent Phillip Muñoz (University of Notre Dame)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 4:30 – 6pm

Is “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? Can the Ten Commandments be posted on public property? Did the Founding Fathers intend to separate church from state or religion from politics? Professor Muñoz will address these questions by exploring the church-state principles of James Madison, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and by explaining how the Founding Fathers might help us resolve contemporary church-state controversies.

Vincent Phillip Muñoz is Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life at the University of Notre Dame. His research has focused on the theme of religious liberty and the American Constitution. His first book, God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson (Cambridge, 2009), won the Morken Award from the American Political Science Association for the best publication on religion and politics. His writings have also appeared in venues such as the American Political Science Review, The Review of Politics, The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, The Wall Street Journal, and First Things. His media appearances have included commentary on Fox News, Voice of America Radio, and Turkish Public Television. He has testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the matter of “Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square.”