Law School Hosts Law and Religion Roundtable

Washington University School of Law hosted nearly 40 scholars from more than 30 law schools at the Fifth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable June 26-27. The event featured works-in-progress from the fields of law, religion, and political theory. Previous roundtables have been held at Brooklyn, Northwestern, Stanford, and Harvard law schools.

John Inazu, Washington University associate professor of law and political science, is one of the roundtable’s organizers. “Papers addressed a range of issues, including the Hobby Lobby litigation, the concept of dignity in capital punishment, theories of religious freedom, antidiscrimination, and other topics,” Inazu said. 

Works-in-progress were circulated in advance and read by all conference participants, and a “hot topics” panel addressed a current or emerging law and religion issue of national interest, Inazu added.

“This roundtable has become an important venue for the leading law and religion scholarship,” Inazu said. “It reinforces a growing strength of the university around important issues of law, religion, and politics.” For example, he said, Washington University opened the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in 2010. 

“I am thrilled that Washington University School of Law hosted the Annual Law and Religion Roundtable,” said Dean Nancy Staudt. “These prominent scholars discussed and debated some of the most vexing issues that our nation faces today. Informed by a broad range of academic and policy perspectives, I am confident that the roundtable will advance our thinking on these important issues.”

Other organizers were Nelson Tebbe, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, Paul Horwitz, the Gordon Rosen Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law, and Richard Garnett, professor of law and political science at Notre Dame Law School. 

“It is a pleasure to gather at Washington University for the Fifth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable,” Garnett said. “The hope for the roundtable is that it will be an occasion not only for collegial exchange and rigorous testing of ideas and arguments, but also for community building among a diverse array of scholars in the field. This hope has been realized in the roundtables that have been held to date, and the Washington University roundtable continued this tradition.”

Summer 2014