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“Religion and the Commonweal in the Tradition of Political Philosophy”: An Unpublished Lecture by Leo Strauss

The transcript published here for the first time is of Leo Strauss’s 1963 lecture on, and discussion of, the relation of religion to the commonweal in the tradition of political philosophy. In this lecture, Strauss considers the question of the establishment of religion, the relation of freedom of religion to freedom from religion, and the question of the truth of religion. The lecture has implications for American constitutional jurisprudence, especially concerning the First Amendment, which Strauss situates within the development of modern political philosophy.