The link between liberty and private ownership of property is well-appreciated in Western thought. This lecture explores one aspect of that link: the relationship between church property and religious liberty. Focusing on the intersection of law, culture, and religion in American history, it illuminates how property-holding by religious institutions preserves their liberty. In this light, it becomes clear that efforts to weaken church property rights should be seen as threats to religious liberty.
James W. Ely, The Guardian of Every Other Right: The Constitutional History of Property Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
Adam J. MacLeod, Property and Practical Reason (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Adam J. Maida and Nicholas P. Cafardi, Church Property, Church Finances, and Church-Related Corporations: A Canon Law Handbook (St. Louis, MO: Catholic Health Association, 1984).
Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz, “Who Owns the Church?” Catholic World Report (October 2005), http://epiph.blogspot.com/2006/01/who-owns-church.html.
John Witte, Jr. and Joel A. Nichols, Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).