St. John’s Law and Religion Colloquium

This semester, the Center for Law and Religion (CLR) inaugurated an exciting new course, “Colloquium in Law: Law and Religion.” The seminar, taught jointly by CLR Director Mark L. Movsesian and Assistant Director Marc O. DeGirolami, gave selected St. John’s Law School students an opportunity to study cutting-edge issues in law and religion with some of the most prominent thinkers in the field, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The seminar was structured as a series of workshops in which speakers presented papers to the students and faculty from St. John’s and other universities. The papers addressed a variety of topics and perspectives. Michael W. McConnell (Stanford Law School) critiqued the Supreme Court’s free-exercise jurisprudence, demonstrating the tensions in the Court’s landmark decision in Employment Division v. Smith. Philip Hamburger (Columbia Law School) discussed the history of freedom of conscience, focusing on medieval thinkers like Aquinas and Bonaventure, and M. Cathleen Kaveny (University of Notre Dame Law School) critiqued a classic contracts case, Watts v. Watts, from the perspective of moral theology. Two papers were comparative. Joseph Weiler (NYU School of Law) addressed the recent European Court of Human Rights decision in the Italian crucifix case, Lautsi v. Italy, and Ayelet Shachar (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) discussed religious family-law arbitration in Canada and the UK.

You can find more information on the colloquium here.

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