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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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RELIGIOUS LIBERTY & RELIGIOUS PROPERTY DISPUTES

Religious Freedom PosterJanuary 30 - February 1, 2009

Pepperdine School of Law's Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted a conference titled "Religious Liberty and Religious Property Disputes: Who Owns the Lord's House?" on January 30, in Malibu, California.

At this conference, we considered the status of religious liberty in the United States. In addition we focused on another set of cases that raises religious liberty issues: Cases pending in several states that would determine whether local congregations or denominational hierarchies own religious property. Underlying these disputes are theological disputes between the congregations and denominations. This conference explored the implications and underlying principles of these cases.

Panels and presentations included:
• The State of Religious Liberty in the United States
• The Religious Property Cases: The View from the Ground; Challenges to Denominations, Challenges to Congregations
• Religious Property Disputes: Hierarchical Deference or Neutral Principles?
• Application of Neutral Principles in Church Property Disputes

Featured speaker:
• Kent Greenawalt is University Professor at Columbia Law School. He is the author of Religion and the Constitution, Vols. 1 and 2 (Princeton University Press; 2006, 2008), as well as "Hands Off! Civil Court Involvement in Conflicts Over Religious Property," 98 Colum, L. Rev. 1843 (1998). He is a graduate of Columbia Law School and served as the law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan

For more details, download the conference brochure here.