Religion and Rights

Freedom and Authority in Faith and Politics

Mon, 04/27/2015
Center for Theological Inquiry, Luce Hall, 50 Stockton Street
Event Category: 

To participate in the symposium, please RSVP to

A light lunch will be provided for registered participants.

Recent discussions raise questions about whether religious freedom can be conceptualized as a universal right and whether freedom of religion is even possible except as general freedoms of choice, expression, and affiliation make it part of modern democracies. Is there anything universal or distinctive about religious freedom? Does religious commitment itself limit human freedom, or is a religious commitment to human dignity the ground of all human rights? How do religious traditions understand freedom and what do those understandings imply for law and politics?

The CTI research fellows in the 2014-15 Inquiry on Law and Religious Freedom invite interested scholars to join us as we engage these questions with distinguished legal scholars and theologians in an extended discussion.

9:30 AM   Welcome

William Storrar, Director, Center of Theological Inquiry
Kim Lane Scheppele, Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs,  Princeton University

Keynote Lecture
"Rights, Resistance, and Revolution: The Calvinist Contribution to Human Rights”

John Witte, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor ,
Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

Response – Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology,
University of Oxford

2:00 PM  Panel Discussion and Open Forum
Rights to Religious Freedom: History and Universality

Panel to include:
David Hollenbach (Boston College), John Witte, and Nigel Biggar
Peter Danchin (University of Maryland) -  Moderator

4:30 PM    Adjournment