Welfare Reform Discussed in Church State Journal

Jan. 21, 1997

WACO, Texas - In the most recent edition of the Journal of Church and State, Dr. Derek Davis, director of The J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies and associate professor of political science at Baylor University, comments on The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. He also looks at the welfare reform bill, and its challenge to interpretations of the Establishment Clause, which restricts government assistance to churches and other primarily religious institutions.

According to Davis, provisions in the act provide for a state to contract with "charitable, religious and private organizations" to administer programs that the bill delegated to the states. Davis asserts that Congress has never before suggested that government contract with religious institutions to perform state duties. Davis explores the legal ramifications and constitutionality of this proposal.

The journal also includes a special tribute to the late Robert T. Miller, associate editor of the journal for 37 years and the R. W. Morrison Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Baylor.

Other articles in the autumn issue include "Universal Pastor: President Bill Clinton's Civil Religion" by Robert D. Linder; "The Christians in Socialism - and After: The Church in East Germany" by Mahmood Monshipouri and John W. Arnold; "All Matters and Things Relating to Religion and Morality: The Virginia Burgesses' Committee for Religion, 1769 to 1775" by Paul K. Longmore; and "U.S.-Vatican Relations: Toward a Post-Cold War Convergence?" by Jo Renee Formicola.

The journal also includes the articles "From Accommodation to Decision: Transformation in Israel's Religio-Political Life" by Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser; "Resisting or Embracing Reform? South Africa's Democratic Transition and NGK-State Relations" by Tracy Kuperus; and "Evangelicals and Catholics in El Salvador: Evolving Religious Responses to Social Change" by Philip J. Williams and Anna L. Peterson.

The journal contains more than 25 book reviews, notes of church-state affairs and a calendar of church-state related events. The Journal of Church and State is published four times a year by The J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor.

For more information, contact Davis at (817) 755-1510.

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