Religious Freedom and the Constitution

A Public Symposium by Princeton's Center for the Study of Religion

Fri, 03/09/2007
3:30 - 6:30 PM, 101 McCormick Hall
Event Category: 
Co-sponsored Event

The Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University is pleased to announce a symposium on the book by Christopher L. Eisgruber and Lawrence G. Sager, Religious Freedom and the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2007) to be held from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2007 in 101 McCormick Hall, Princeton University. The symposium is free and open to the public.

About the Center

Founded in 1999, the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University encourages intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary scholarly studies about religion among faculty and students in the humanities and social sciences.

About the Participants

Christopher L. Eisgruber became the Provost of Princeton University on July 1, 2004. He is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values. From 2001 through June 2004, he served as Director of Princeton's Program in Law and Public Affairs. He is the co-author, with Lawrence G. Sager, of Religious Freedom and the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2007) and the author of Constitutional Self-Government (Harvard University Press, 2001). He has also published numerous articles on constitutional law, religious freedom, and jurisprudence. Before joining the Princeton faculty in 2001, he clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court, and then served for eleven years on the faculty of the New York University School of Law. Eisgruber received an A.B. magna cum laude in Physics from Princeton, an M. Litt. in Politics from Oxford University (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the American Law Institute.

Marci A. Hamilton is one of the nation's leading church/state scholars, as well as an expert on federalism and representation. Professor Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and is the author most recently of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), and "The Religious Origins of Disestablishment Principles," 81 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1755 (2006). She is also a columnist on constitutional issues for, where her column appears every other Thursday. Professor Hamilton is frequently asked to advise Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation and to consult in cases involving important constitutional issues. She is the First Amendment advisor for victims in many clergy abuse cases involving many religious institutions, including the federal bankruptcies filed by the Portland Archdiocese and the Spokane Diocese. She also represents a number of cities and neighborhoods challenging the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. She was lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), before the Supreme Court in its seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional. Professor Hamilton clerked for Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She also received her M.A. in Philosophy and M.A., high honors, in English from Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University. Professor Hamilton will be a Visiting Professor at Princeton University and a Fellow in Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs for the academic year, 2007-08. She has been a visitor at New York University School of Law, Emory University School of Law, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton.

Eric Michael Mazur (B.A., M.A., University of Virginia; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara), is currently associate professor and chair of the Religion Department at Bucknell University (Lewisburg, Pa.), where he teaches in the area of religion in American culture. He is also a coordinator of the American Studies and Legal Studies minors. In August, 2007, he will relocate to Virginia Wesleyan College (Virginia Beach, Va.) to become the Gloria and David Furman Chair of Judaic Studies. His work has appeared in the Journal of Church and State, Insights, Social Justice Research, and Social Studies, as well as in edited volumes on religious freedom, the sociology of religion, popular culture, the arts, Bing Crosby, and Native American studies. He is the author of The Americanization of Religious Minorities: Confronting the Constitutional Order (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), co-author of Religion on Trial: How Supreme Court Trends Threaten Freedom of Conscience in America (with Phillip E. Hammond and David W. Machacek, Alta Mira Press, 2004), co-editor of God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2001), and editor of Art & the Religious Impulse (University Presses of America, 2002). He is currently writing Church & State in America (under contract, Columbia University Press) and editing The Encyclopedia of Religion & Film (Greenwood Publishing). Eric is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religion & Popular Culture, where he is also the book review editor, and he recently completed two terms as co-chair of the Religious Freedom, Public Life, and the State Group (formerly the Church-State Studies Group) of the American Academy of Religion. Eric has been quoted in more than a dozen newspapers and news Web sites, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Kansas City Star, the Toronto Star, TV Guide, and the Washington Post, as well as local newspapers in California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Before completing his doctoral work, Eric served as a public interest lobbyist in Washington, D.C., where his portfolio included issues related to civil rights and the separation of church and state. Eric has also taught courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the California State University, Chico.

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan (J.D., Ph.D., University of Chicago), Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Religion Program at SUNY Buffalo, is currently the Lilly Endowment Fellow at the National Humanities Center. Trained as a lawyer and an historian of religion, Sullivan writes on the legal regulation of religion in the modern period. Her most recent book, The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (2005), makes the argument, through an ethnographic reading of a recent trial, that religious freedom is impossible, practically speaking, given the thorough disestablishment of religious authority in the U.S. While at the National Humanities Center, Sullivan is working on her upcoming volume, provisionally entitled, The Bible, the Koran, and Dr. Seuss: Prisoner Rehabilitation in the 21st Century.