TR 1:30-2:45 pm
This course will consider the relationship between law, religion, and politics from three perspectives. First, we will read foundational theological writings (e.g. Augustine, Aquinas, Luther) that address the nature of law and government. Particular attention will be given to sources within the Christian theological tradition, though we will also consider non-Christian and non-religious sources. Second, we will consider leading contemporary theological and legal perspectives on this topic (e.g. Steven D. Smith, Remi Brague), with a focus on assessing the proper the role of religion within a secular legal and political order. Finally, we will consider contemporary issues and problems in this area (e.g. religious pluralism, religion and hate speech, church autonomy, church-state relations, tensions between the values of freedom and equality, religion in international human rights law, Islamic law and the secular state), especially as they find expression within legal doctrine and debate. In the course of so doing, we will read judicial opinions from the United States Supreme Court, as well as other domestic and international tribunals. Course requirements will include several short discussion papers and a mid-length final paper (10-15 pages).