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IS THERE A HIGHER LAW? DOES IT MATTER?

Religious Freedom PosterFebruary 21-22, 2008

Pepperdine School of Law's Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted a conference titled, "Is there a Higher Law? Does it Matter?" on Feb. 21 and 22 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

This conference brought together a group of law professors, judges, theologians, economists, historians, and philosophers to address whether there is a higher law, whether it matters, and the numerous questions that flow from these questions.

It focused on and drew from times in history when the question of a higher law took the spotlight, specifically the decade before the American Civil War when slavery was the debated topic, and the beginning of the 20th century when the Nuremburg trials and the American Civil Rights movement were the big issues of the day.

Panels and presentations included:
• The higher law and its critics
• Theology and the higher law
• Philosophy and the higher law
• Practical applications of the higher law

Featured speakers included:
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Sydney M. Irmas Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School
Patrick McKinley Brennan, John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University School of Law
• William S. Brewbaker III, professor of law, University of Alabama School of Law
• Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor and the founder and director of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, Pepperdine University School of Law
• Kenneth G. Elzinga, Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics, University of Virginia
• Peter Gabel, founder of the New College Law School of California
• Douglas W. Kmiec, the Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law, Pepperdine University
• Allen Martin Linden, supernumerary judge, Federal Court of Appeal, Canada
• Elizabeth B. Mensch, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, University at Buffalo Law School
• David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto
• Joan Lockwood O'Donovan, Honorary Fellow, School of Divinity, New College, University of Edinburgh
• Oliver O'Donovan, professor of Christian ethics and practical theology, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
• Connie S. Rosati, associate professor, philosophy, University of Arizona
• Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego
• Mark V. Tushnet, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard
• Dallas Willard, professor, School of Philosophy, University of Southern California

For more details, download the conference brochure here.