Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and director of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics recently spoke at a conference entitled, “The Social Responsibility of the Christian College,” in Handong, Korea. Cochran’s speech was on the topic of Jesus and the Law, based on an essay he is writing with Professor Dallas Willard for an upcoming book.
Sponsored by five Christian universities in South Korea, the conference addressed the social justice responsibilities of Christians. “It is an important topic,” said Cochran of the conference. “As we have become aware of human trafficking, property grabbing, poverty, religious persecution, and hunger world-wide, we have become reacquainted with Jesus who taught that we are to love our neighbor and that our neighbors include people who are very different from us.”
Cochran, who had met several of the Handong University law professors previously at a Nootbaar conference, said there was a palpable enthusiasm among the keynote speakers about social justice issues.
“Hopefully this will inspire some of the professors who attended to try to address some of these issues in their cultural situation,” Cochran reflected. “Some of the universities in South Korea are already actively involved in them. For example, at Handong Law School each student is part of a group, including a professor, which tries to address a social problem in their area... Overall, I was struck by the warmth of the people from these universities and the fact that despite our differences we, at root, struggle with very similar concerns.”
Cochran is the founding director of Pepperdine’s Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics. He is also the founder of Pepperdine's Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission. He is the author or editor of eight books and over 40 articles and book chapters, and he edits Social Science Research Network's (SSRN's) "Law and Religion" ejournal.