More Than the Score: Thomas Jefferson's Battle for Religious Freedom with John Ragosta

Thomas Jefferson is well-known as one of the founders of American religious freedom and the separation of church and state; yet, while he strongly opposed government involvement in religion, he always expected Americans to be privately religious. In designing the University of Virginia, he worked diligently, against considerable political opposition, to ensure that the University did not actively promote religion but left religious matters to the students. Almost two hundred years later, in Rosenberger v. UVA (1995), the Supreme Court adopted a “neutrality principle” — government must neither promote nor discriminate against religion – a decision with which Jefferson would undoubtedly have been pleased. John Ragosta, Fellow, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, History Faculty, Randolph College, and UVA’s Summer Jefferson Symposium Faculty Leader, will address Jefferson’s role in defining American religious freedom, his plans for UVA, and the modern religious freedom issues with which we continue to grapple.

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  • Charlottesville, VA 22903

Region: University Area

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