The Spirit of the Law: Separation of Church and State from 1945-1990

A public lecture by Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania.

line drawing of a person in a chair talking, audience members, and a person with a microphone



Women’s Building Formal Lounge Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

Sarah Barringer Gordon is the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional History and Professor of History at University of Pennsylvania.  Sally Gordon is a widely recognized scholar and commentator on religion in American public life and the law of church and state.  She researches and teaches extensively in American constitutional and legal  history, religion and religious experience, and property.

Her first book, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina, 2002), won the Mormon History Association’s and the Utah Historical Society’s best book awards in 2003.  Her new book about religion and law in the 20th century, titled The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Harvard University, 2010), explores the world of church and state.  She is currently working on a third book, tentatively titled The Place of Faith, about religion and property in American history.

Gordon serves on the advisory boards of the National Constitution Center, the American Society for Legal History, Vassar College, the William nelson Cromwell Foundation, and the Mormon History Association.  In 2004 and 2009 she received the Robert A. Gorman Award for Teaching Excellence.


  • Sarah Barringer Gordon

    Danforth Visiting Scholar