Study of Churches and Religious Institutions in American Law

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Bassett researched the law of churches and religious organizations -- not individual religious liberties nor church-state relations, but a study of the laws and disciplines of churches as they relate to various issues of civil law. His work has resulted in the only U.S. treatise on the law of churches and religious organizations, Religious Organizations in the Law, scheduled for publication in April 1997. Bassett found that the corporate structures adopted by churches and their related agencies must be understood in view of their major concerns not only for stability and corporate efficiency but also for protection in case of liability and for compliance with myriad governmental regulatory demands and tax exemption requirements. Woven into the text is discussion of the internal laws and discipline of the churches as they concern the various issues at stake. The text covers over 3,000 cases in all levels of the judiciary, as well as hundreds of pages of statutory materials. (SM)