In July 2002 chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court had a two-ton monument of the Ten Commandments placed into the rotunda of the Montgomery state judicial building. But this action is only a recent case in the long history of religiously inspired public movements in the American South. From the Civil War to the Scopes Trial to the Moral Majority, white Southern evangelicals have taken ideas they see as drawn from the Christian Scriptures and tried to make them into public law. But blacks, women, subregions, and other religious groups too vie for power within and outside this Southern Religious Establishment. Religion and Public Life in the South gives voice to both the establishment and its dissenters and shows why more than any other region of the country, religion drives public debate in the South.