Law and Religion: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives

April 17, 2009
Conference Description

This conference brings together leading scholars in the fields of constitutional law, history, and political philosophy to examine church-state legal doctrines in American constitutional thought and discuss how the advance of secularism has changed the social and political dynamic of law and religion in our public life. Intended to promote comprehensive and meaningful discourse on the interaction between law and religion, the conference addresses five timely and enduring questions, with presentations followed by a moderated discussion among a select group of scholars, attorneys, and judges.

What are the United States’ basic moral responsibilities to promote religious liberty abroad?

Thomas F. Farr, former American diplomat; Visiting Associate Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Affairs, Georgetown University; Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
Daniel Philpott, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty Fellow in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

What are the state’s basic responsibilities with regard to coercion of belief and practice, and manipulation/unfair proselytizing of people within churches and religious communities?

Richard W. Garnett, Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
Kent Greenawalt, University Professor, Columbia Law School

Given that the Founders believed in and, in fact, built what Frank Sorauf once described as an “implicit Protestant establishment,” what are the coherent possibilities for an “originalist” jurisprudence of the Religion Clauses in the 21st century?

Gerard V. Bradley, Gerard V. Bradley, Visiting Professor, Department of Politics, Visiting Research Scholar, James Madison Program, Princeton University; Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School; Director, Witherspoon Institute’s Center on Religion and the Constitution
Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego

The right to conscientious objection and the right not to be coerced into immoral cooperation with injustice.

Christopher Tollefsen, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina
Christopher Wolfe, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Marquette University

How does the increasing globalization of economic life and culture, and the burgeoning power of transnational institutions present unique challenges to religious liberty in the 21st century?

José Casanova, Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University
William Inboden, Senior Vice-President, Legatum Institute for Global Development

Conference discussants to include:

Peter Berkowitz, Hoover Institution
Paul D. Clement, Georgetown University Law Center
Donald L. Drakeman, Princeton University
David F. Forte, Witherspoon Institute and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University
Robert P. George, Princeton University
Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Ken I. Kersch, Boston College
V. Phillip Munoz, Princeton University and Tufts University
Paul E. Sigmund, Princeton University
Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

Video:

What are the United States' basic moral responsibilties to promote religious liberty abroad?

What are the state's basic responsibilities with regard to coercion of belief and practice?

What are the possibilities for an 'originalist' jurisprudence of the Religion Clauses in the 21st century?

The right to conscientious objection and the right not to be coerced into cooperation.

Location:

Lewis Library 120

Cosponsored by:

  • The Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University
  • The Tikvah Project in Jewish Thought, Princeton University
  • The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, Boston College
  • The Center on Religion and the Constitution, Witherspoon Institute

Photo Album: