Martha Nussbaum is working on a book on religion and the Constitution. A portion of the research on the book led to her January 31, 2006 entry into the Chicago's Best Ideas series, entitled "The Roots of Respect: Roger Williams and Religious Fairness." Martha's talk explores Williams's interesting and prescient (although long and dense) writings on the subject, and explains why Williams has a lot to say to those who believe separation of church and state is an idea created by non-religious people. You can listen to the talk and discussion here.
As always, instructions for listening and subscribing, should you need them, are available here. The blurb Martha used for the publicity for her talk is below the fold.
Roger Williams (1603-84), founder of the colony of Rhode Island, is usually remembered for the phrase "wall of separation," which he used once in a letter. His systematic philosophical works are rarely studied, although they anticipate in every major point John Locke's well-known "A Letter Concerning Toleration." Williams's ideas about the worth of the individual conscience and the foundations of religious freedom are rich and compelling, the origin of a distinctive American tradition of thought about fairness to religious minorities.