Film Screening and Discussion - "Free Exercise: America’s Story of Religious Liberty"

Feb 14, 2024, 4:30 pm7:00 pm
Maeder Hall Auditorium 002



Event Description

Film website here. Watch a preview of the film here.

For parking: We recommend parking in Lot P10, Lot P13, or Prospect Avenue Garage. All are free and open to the public after 4 p.m. Map.

Screening of the Peregrine Institute's documentary, "Free Exercise: America's Story of Religious Liberty" featuring Richard Brookhiser, Robert George, and other scholars of religious freedom in the United States. Followed by a post-screening discussion between Richard Brookhiser and Professor Mark Movsesian, moderated by Robert George. With an introduction by Allen C. Guelzo.

Free Exercise: America’s Story of Religious Liberty tells the up and down, always fascinating and ever-evolving tale of the greatest experiment in religious freedom that the world has ever seen. Told first through the eyes of six American faith communities – Quakers, Baptists, Black churches, Catholics, Mormons and Jews – then widening out to examine recent challenges to Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Native Americans, Free Exercise chronicles the evolution of religious freedom from the Flushing Remonstrance to the headlines of today.

Conceived by Thomas D. Lehrman and award-winning author and columnist Richard Brookhiser, and co-directed by Leo Eaton and John Paulson, the film looks at the history of America’s first freedom, the struggles that several religious traditions have faced in America, and how the need to protect this most precious freedom remains as relevant today as it did 250 years ago.

More than 40 experts, historians, professors and religious leaders contributed to the project, which is far more than a film about religion. This is a film about America.

Richard Brookhiser is an American journalist, biographer and historian. He is a senior editor at National Review. He is most widely known for a series of biographies of America's founders, including Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, and George Washington.

Mark Movsesian is the Frederick Whitney Professor and Director of the Mattone Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s Law. He has been a visiting professor at Notre Dame and Cardozo Law Schools and a fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton. His scholarship has been cited by the Supreme Court. He serves on the board of editors of the Journal of Law and Religion (Cambridge) and, in addition to academic pieces, writes regularly for First Things, the Library of Law and Liberty, and the Volokh Conspiracy. He co-hosts the Legal Spirits podcast series. He has his AB and JD from Harvard and clerked for Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Documentary produced and presented by the Peregrine Institute
  • James Madison Program's Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry and Expression


Lecture Series
Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression