Nathan C. Walker, The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb. New York: Routledge,  2019.

“… a masterfully meticulous treatment of the relevant law and literature, the factual context, and a concluding legal analysis.”

Walker’s “command of the germane material—legal, historical, and even philosophical—is simply extraordinary.”

More than a legal argument, the book is a sweeping account of the nature of public education within a liberal democracy—its proper purposes and limitations…”

Walker’s “argument is a complex one, but written in the kind of accessible, jargon-free prose that should be digestible for even the layperson.”

“A thorough, magisterial account of a timely and historically important legal debate.”

~ Kirkus Reviews


Michael D. Waggoner and Nathan C. Walker, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Foreword by Martin E. Marty.

Waggoner and Walker “have accomplished an impressive feat by bringing order to this topic without sacrificing scope.”

This Oxford Handbook “can be thought of as a map or guidebook to the places where religion and American education intersect: It examines the legal issues and best practices for teaching about and creating space for religious practice in public education settings. It raises philosophical debates over how to educate a religiously diverse population for citizenship in a religiously diverse world. It explores the nature of private religious instruction. And it covers these topics with works spanning from kindergarten through graduate school.”

“I recommend it highly.”

~ Reading Religion


Nathan C. Walker & Edwin J. Greenlee, eds., Whose God Rules? Is the United States a Secular Nation or a Theolegal Democracy? New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Foreword by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Walker coins the term “theolegal democracy” to define a political system that allows public officials to use theology in its democratic process to shape law without instituting an official state religion.

Whose God Rules? “is a provocative and pioneering effort to rethink the complex relation of religion and the state in the American past and present. Don’t miss it!” ~ Cornel West

“This erudite book… is sure to provoke an interesting and renewed debate about the relationship of religion and politics.” ~ Leslie Griffin

“An illuminating new frame to revitalize the stale debate over church-state separation” Walker and Greenlee “presents a feast for the intellect that challenges us all to become better citizens.”

~ The late Forrest Church


Lyal S. Sunga and Nathan C. Walker, Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned, Rome, Italy: IDLO, 2014/2016.

Presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, Italy.

Nathan C. Walker, Cultivating Empathy: The Worth and Dignity of Every Person—Without ExceptionBoston, MA: Skinner House Press, 2016.

In November 2016, Publishers Weekly listed Cultivating Empathy as one of the top “six books for a post-election spiritual detox.”

Nathan C. Walker, Exorcising Preaching: Crafting Intellectually Honest Worship. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2014.

“Nate Walker is boldly creative—a visionary, on-the-edge kind of thinker.” – Rev. Meg Riley, Senior Minister Church of the Larger Fellowship


Peer-Reviewed Articles & Chapters

Nathan C. Walker, “Political Contempt and Religion” in Paul Djupe, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Nathan C. Walker, “Charter Schools,” “Religious Garb—Teachers,” “Religious Garb—Students,” “Cantwell v. Connecticut,” “Everson v. Board of Education,” and “Kitzmiller v. Dover” in Religion in American Education: A Legal Encyclopedia, Charles J. Russo. New York: Roman & Littlefield, 2018.

Nathan C. Walker, “Diversity over Uniformity: Teachers, Religious Garb and Public Schools” in a special edition of Social Education, eds. Charles C. Haynes. Silver Spring, MD: National Council of Social Studies, 2018.

Nathan C. Walker, “A Scholar’s Lament: Public Acts of Grief in a Nation of Religious Minorities” in Sabrina D. Misir Hiralall, Christopher Fici, and Gerald S. Vigna, Religious Studies Scholars as Public Intellectuals. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Nathan C. Walker, “A Legal Approach to Questions about Religious Diversity” in Chad Meister, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity, Oxford Handbooks Online. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Nathan C. Walker, “Following the Student’s Dollar through the Federal Aid System.” Washington, DC: Pell Institute, 2005

Nathan C. Walker, “Biography of Peter Cooper” in the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography, ed. Peter Hughes. Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association, 2005.


Book Reviews

Nathan C. Walker, “Book Review,” Journal of Law and Religion, 33 (April 2018). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Between Church and State: Religion and Public Education in a Multicultural America. By James W. Fraser. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2016.

Nathan C. Walker, “A Review of: ‘The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education'” edited by Derek H. Davis and Elena Miroshnikova. Journal of Religion and Education, Vol. 41, Issue 1, 2014.


Additional Book Chapters

Nathan C. Walker, “Together We Know Freedom” in Testimony. Boston, MA: Skinner House Press, 2017.

Nathan C. Walker, “A Nation of Religious Minorities” in Assembled, 2016. Boston, MA: Skinner House Press, 2016.

Contributions to the Legal Study of Federal Student Financial Aid

From 2004 to 2006, I served as the executive director of a nationwide student movement designed to return to students the $30 billion dollars in the waste in the federal student aid system. I worked with leading researchers, legislative aids, and student leaders to write the National Tuition Endowment Act.

The NTE Act of 2016 is based on my policy report, “Following the Student’s Dollar through the Federal Aid System,” which I presented at the 22nd Annual Financial Aid Research Network Conference in Chicago, Illinois and was later published by the Pell Institute, Washington, DC.

This research became the basis for my Master of Education thesis in higher education finance at Columbia University.

I presented my graduate research at a staff briefing in the U.S. Senate, and four of my seven recommendations became law, leading Mother Jones to list me as one of the “top ten student activists” of 2006.

Contribution to National Social Studies Standards

I served as a contributing author, providing legal frameworks for teaching about religion in U.S. public schools from an academic perspective, to the Religious Studies Companion Document for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. Silver Spring, Maryland: National Council for the Social Studies, 2017, pp. 92–97.

The Companion Document—which is the product of a teacher-led initiative that launched at a conference for educators at Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, IL—was developed by educators, school administrators, and subject matter experts from Harvard University and Rice University, with the support of the American Academy of Religion and of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, where I served as executive director.

Contributions to the Public’s Understanding of Religion

Nathan C. Walker (2014) “Dominant in 2014’s US Religion Stories: Marriage and Contraception.” Sightings, online issue January 9, 2013. The Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School.

Nathan C. Walker (2013) “Theolegal Officials” Political Theology Today, online issue Aug. 1, 2013.

Nathan C. Walker (2013) “Liberty: A Vote or A Veto?” (Contraception mandate) Sightings, online issue June 6, 2013. The Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School.

Nathan C. Walker (2013) “Bid for State Religion Fails” (Separation of church and state) Sightings, online issue April 11, 2013. The Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School.

Nathan C. Walker (2012) “Hell or Hope? The Choice is Ours.” (Blasphemy laws) Religion and Public Policy, online issue April 26, 2012. The Institute on Religion and Public Policy, Washington DC.

Nathan C. Walker (2009) “Mr. President: My blood is sacred,” Op-Ed, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 22, 2009

Nathan C. Walker (2009) “Calling on Obama to End the Blood Ban,” Op-Ed, The Philadelphia Gay News, Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 22, 2009.