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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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The Competing Claims of Law and Religion

Competing Claims PosterFebruary 23-25, 2012

Pepperdine School of Law's Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, along with the Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies, hosted the conference "Competing Claims of Law and Religion" on February 23-25 at Pepperdine's Malibu campus.

This conference addressed a host of sub-questions all at the forefront of contemporary debates over the respective roles of law and religion. In many parts of the world, questions like this will engender not only controversy, but also outright hostility and aggression. At this conference, we facilitated a spirited, engaged, and thoughtful conversation that explored numerous aspects of all of them.

Some speakers addressed these issues as a matter of constitutional law, some as a matter of good citizenship, and some as a matter of religious faith. Speakers from a broad range of religious and secular traditions addressed how their traditions might influence law—and vice versa.

Panels and Presentations

  • What constitutional restraints, if any, should be placed on the influence of religion on law?
  • What constitutional restraints, if any, should be placed on the influence of law on religion?
  • If religious faiths do not assert influence on law, will they be dominated by religious or secular traditions that are willing to do so?
  • If religious faiths do not assert influence on law, will injustice reign?
  • If religious faiths do assert influence on law, will injustice reign?
  • Should the goal be autonomy within religious communities, or will that undermine the creation of an integrated and just society?

Featured Speakers

  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory School of Law
  • James Davison Hunter, Labrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture, and SocialTheory, and Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia
  • Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Michael Stokes,Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas
  • Ayelet Shachar, Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Steven D. Smith, Class of 1975 Endowed Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Suzanne Last Stone, University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University

For more details, download the conference brochure here.