Culture, Pluralism, and Human Rights

May 12, 2021
Poster for the Culture, Pluralism, and Human Rights event - diverse group of hands reaching up against a white background

Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law Emerita, Harvard University; Hamza Yusuf Hanson, President and Co-Founder, Zaytuna College; David Novak, J. Richard & Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion and Philosophy, University of Toronto

Moderated by Robert P. GeorgeMcCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

Please join us for a panel discussion honoring the work of Mary Ann Glendon.

Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law Emerita at Harvard University and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. She writes in the fields of human rights, comparative law, and political theory. She chaired the U.S. State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights (2019-2020) and served as a member of the Commission on International Religious Freedom (2012-2016), and the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics (2001-2004). She received the National Humanities Medal in 2006. In 1991, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences from 2003 to 2013, a member of the Board of Supervisors of the Institute of Religious Works (Vatican Bank) from 2013 to 2018, and represented the Holy See at various conferences including the 1995 U.N. Women's conference in Beijing where she headed the Vatican delegation. Professor Glendon has contributed to legal and social thought in several widely translated works, bringing a comparative approach to a variety of subjects. They include The Forum and the Tower (2011), a series of biographical essays exploring the relation between political philosophy and politics-in-action; Traditions in Turmoil (2006), a collection of essays on law, culture and human rights; A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2001), a history of the framing of the UDHR; A Nation Under Lawyers (1996), a portrait of turbulence in the legal profession, analyzing the implications of changes in legal culture for a democratic polity that entrusts crucial roles to legally trained men and women; Rights Talk (1991), a critique of the impoverishment of political discourse; The Transformation of Family Law (1989), winner of the legal academy’s highest honor, the Order of the Coif Triennial Book Award; Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (1987), winner of the Scribes Book Award for best writing on a legal subject; The New Family and the New Property (1981), and textbooks on comparative legal traditions. She received her Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor, and Master of Comparative Law degrees from the University of Chicago. 

Hamza Yusuf Hanson currently serves as president of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, with both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. He was ranked by The Muslim 500 as the 23rdmost-influential Muslim worldwide. A leading proponent of classical learning, the traditional liberal arts, and great books education in both the Western and Muslim traditions, he has translated, authored, and coauthored numerous publications, including scholarly books and articles as well as papers on major current areas of ethical concern. He is a co-president of Religions for Peace and served on the Ethics in Action for Sustainable and Integral Development initiative, a collaboration between Religions for Peace, the Vatican, the United Nations, and other organizations. He is a member of the Jordanian Royal Academy for Islamic Studies and has worked with Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad on key initiatives promoting peace between Muslims and Christians. He works closely with Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, the architect of The Marrakesh Declaration, a groundbreaking document in defense of the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim-majority societies, translating it into English and promoting it globally. He holds traditional advanced degrees (ijazaat) in Islamic law and theology, as well as a B.A. in Religious Studies (San Jose State University) and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair in Jewish Studies as Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is a Consulting Scholar and a member of the Board of Advisors of the James Madison Program at Princeton University.  He has taught at the University of Virginia, City University of New York, and Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is the author of nineteen books, including In Defense of Religious Liberty (ISI Books, 2009), Zionism and Judaism: A New Theory (Cambridge, 2015), and Athens and Jerusalem: God, Humans, and Nature (University of Toronto Press, 2019). He has served as a consultant to the governments of Canada, the United States, Israel, and Poland. In 2017 he delivered the Gifford Lectures in the University of Aberdeen. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago, his Master of Hebrew Literature and rabbinical diploma from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Georgetown University.

Robert P. George holds Princeton University's McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University.


Culture, Pluralism, and Human Rights


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Cosponsored by:

  • The Association for the Study of Free Institutions