Tag Archives: natural law

‘Review Essay: Theological Medicine for Liberal Democracy’, in Journal of Markets & Morality, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 2019)

‘Abstract

As Smith points out, the genealogy of liberal democracy demonstrates that liberalism is nothing less than the prodigal son of Christianity. Thus, it becomes plausible that Christianity has a continuing role to play in a liberal democracy. Smith might even be right that it is not so much common grace and natural law, but rather Christianity exclusively, on which liberal democracy is dependent. Constitutional lawyers and political scientists would indeed be well-advised to be more generous in integrating theological insights as well into their work in order to find this out for themselves.

Hans-Martien ten Napel, “Review Essay: Theological Medicine for Liberal Democracy,” Journal of Markets & Morality 22, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 169-181.*

*Review essay of James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, Cultural Liturgies, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009); Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works, Cultural Liturgies, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013); Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology, Cultural Liturgies, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2017).’

Source, and full text: http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/issue/view/45

See also:

Forthcoming review essay of James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies

Blogpost ‘The Political Theology of Thierry Baudet’

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Conference on ‘Global Human Rights at Risk? Challenges, Prospects, and Reforms’, The Hague, 6-7 June 2019

On 6-7 June 2019, I will be participating in the above conference. My presentation is entitled ‘The Codification of an Expanding Number of Human Rights and the Ideal of Self-Government.’

During the presentation, I will, among other things, discuss the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of State of the establishment of a Department of State Commission on Unalienable Rights. The purpose of the Commission is to ‘provide the Secretary of State advice and recommendations concerning international human rights matters. The Commission will provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.’

The full abstract of my presentation reads as follows: 

If there is one word which sums up the ideal underlying modern Western political orders, it is self-government. Since 1945, the West, and in particular (Western) Europe, has witnessed the rise of modern constitutional practice. To be sure, the American and French Revolutions of the late 18th century already marked a transition from traditional to modern constitutionalism, but this modern constitutionalism somehow remained connected to traditional constitutionalism through the diverse intellectual tradition of natural law and natural rights discoverable by human reason.

Several developments after the Second World War have led to the face of modern constitutionalism changing dramatically, however. Taken together, these developments raise the question if, and to what extent, the ideal of self-government is still realized under modern constitutional practice?

One development that has impacted modern constitutional practice is the codification of an expanding number of human rights. Thus, since World War II, several international and regional codifications have taken place. Moreover, in addition to the more traditional civil and political rights, social and economic rights have also been developed. In recent decades, so-called third- generation rights are also distinguished, such as environmental rights.

At the same time, historians have already started to raise the question of whether human rights, with the advantage of hindsight, may not prove to have been more of a temporary phenomenon than was initially thought. Perhaps even more provocatively, human rights activist Aaron Rhodes, has in a 2018 book raised the question: how can an ideal that was originally emancipatory, such as that of human rights, become so ‘debased’?

The first section of the proposed paper will attempt to answer precisely this question, against the background of the theoretical framework set out above. Should the human rights component of modern constitutional practice not conform to the standards that modern constitutionalism set out to achieve, this subsequently makes an inquiry into which amendments to both the theory and the practice of modern constitutionalism in the area of human rights are required with a view to their continuing legitimacy indispensable. Such an effort will, if necessary, be undertaken in the second part of the paper.

See for more information on the conference: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2019/06/global-human-rights-at-risk

See also:

Guest Lecture on “Natural Law, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom”

Upcoming Paperback Release

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Guest Lecture on “Natural Law, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom”

UPDATE:

Terugblik vormingsweekend 2019: christendemocratie en rechtsstaat

Beautiful place to give a guest talk this morning: The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Distress in Heiloo, North-Holland.

The lecture was on “Natural Law, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom.”

The audience consisted of a group of talented leaders of the Christian Democratic Youth Appeal.

Other speakers during the weekend included Minister of  State Piet Hein Donner.

See also:

Entry on Christian Democracy in Encyclopedia of Political Thought

Canon of Dutch Christian Democracy now also available in English

Paper presentation ‘Creed or Structure? Christian Democratic Vision and Attitudes towards Liberal Democracy’

Forthcoming review essay of James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies

Following this year’s conference of the European Academy of Conference in Bologna, during which I co-chaired two successful panels on ‘Law and Religion: Public theology and natural law,’ I have been working on two articles on James K.A. Smith’s trilogy.

One, a revision, concerns a review essay in English, provisionally entitled ‘Theological medicine for liberal democracy.’ It is due to appear in the Journal of Markets and Morality later this spring.

The other is a piece in Dutch, on ‘Politieke theologie, natuurrecht en staatsrecht.’ As this was still a first draft which I submitted, we will have to wait and see where it goes from here.

I very much enjoyed working on both articles, however, and will continue to study and write on this topic for the next couple of months.

One reason for this is that, in order to fully grasp Smith’s trilogy, one also has to (re-)read Oliver O’ Donovan’s works The Desire of the Nations and The Ways of Judgment, Smith’s earlier book Introducing Radical Orthodoxy. Mapping a Post-secular Theology and, indeed, St. Augustine’s City of God.

See also:

Brief photo impression of the Annual Conference 2019 of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna, Italy

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

 

Brief photo impression of the Annual Conference 2019 of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna, Italy

Returning to Bologna felt like coming home this week. A big thank you to the European Academy of Religion for making the Annual Conference 2019 once again such an inspiring event.

A brief photo impression of some personal trivia and highlights:

Alway good to see my recent book on display.

At the conference photo booth.

Second panel on public theology and natural law.

Gala dinner in Palazzo Re Enzo.

Excellent paper by Prof. Gnana Patrick (University of Madras) on the relevance of public theology to the Indian context.

Theologian John Milbank speaking during an impromptu interview session on Radical Orthodoxy in the Modern Philosophy of Religion panel.

Very appropriate after organizing two panels on James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies: visit to the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore, an historic Roman Catholic church, serving a monastery of Augustinian Friars.

See also:

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 4-7, 2019

From 4-7 March, I will be chairing two panels on philosopher James K.A. Smith’s trilogy during the Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion in Bologna. Read more about the panels here:

‘This panel considers James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies (Desiring the King, Imagining the King, Awaiting the King) and discusses the potential for scholars in Law and Religion to engage with his public theology along the lines of the legal-theological approach as recently suggested by Stefanus Hendrianto in the journal Law and Method. The panel examines Smith’s reservations concerning natural law doctrine as can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other traditions. It explores the potential to use perspectives from Smith’s public theology – in connection with other Christians thinkers such as Augustine – as a legal-theoretical alternative to ideas advanced by Ronald Dworkin and Jürgen Habermas. It will further consider the relevance of Smith’s work in the more general context of public administration. The organizers welcome paper proposals engaging other public theologies than Smith’s, as long as the focus remains on their potential for law and religion scholarship.

Chair:
• Hans-Martien ten Napel (University of Leiden)

Panelists:

• Leonard Taylor (Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway) – Christian Poiesis: A Reading of Awaiting the King. Imagining with the Cultivation of a Posture the New Political Community through the Prism of Catholic Political and Liturgical Thought’ 
• Neville Rochow (Notre Dame Law School) – Australia – A ReImagining of Rawls’ Veil of Unknowing and Original Position 
• Michael Borowski (Independent Researcher) – Mining “the Kingdom” – Appropriating James K.A. Smith’s Trilogy for an Ethical Foundation of (German) Public Administration 
• Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol (University of Cambridge) – Conceptions of National Belonging in Protestant Political Thought 
• Hans-Martien ten Napel (Leiden University) – What’s Wrong with James K.A. Smith’s Criticism of Natural Law?’ 
• Yaron Catane (Bar Ilan University) – The New Dimensions of Public Religion in the Public Sphere’

The panels will be held on Tuesday, March 5, from 14:30 onwards, in
Sala Rubicone – Aemilia Hotel, Via Zaccherini Alvisi, 16. Please stop by if you’re around.

For more information, see https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org.

See also:

Call for Papers, Panel on Public Theology and its potential for Law and Religion scholarship

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: The Fifth ICLARS Conference – Living Together in Diversity: Strategies from Law and Religion

The conference will take place at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Departamento de Direito), Brasil, from 12-14 September 2018

I will be addressing the question: “Can natural law serve as foundation for a truly universal right to freedom of religion or belief?”

Other speakers during the conference include: Silvio Ferrari (University of Milan, Italy), Mark Hill (Cardiff University, United Kingdom), Ewelina Ochab (University of Kent), Ahmed Salisu Garba (Law Bauchi State University, Nigeria), Neil Foster (Newcastle Law School, Australia), Brett Scharffs (BrighamYoung University, USA), Rick Garnett (University of Notre Dame, USA), Javier Martínez-Torrón (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España), John Inazu (Washington University, USA), Gerhard Robbers (Trier), Jan Figel (EU Special Envoy on Religious Freedom), Jessica Giles (The Open University, United Kingdom), Zachary Calo (Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar), Pieter Coertzen (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Li-Ann Thio (National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Singapore), and Cole Durham (Brigham Young University, USA).

For the full program, see:

http://www.iclars.org/event.php?event=14

See also:

Review of book on ‘Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human’

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Paper presentation during third bi-annual ICLARS conference in Virginia, United States

Call for Papers, Panel on Public Theology and its potential for Law and Religion scholarship

UPDATE: see for the call:

I am currently putting together a panel for the 2019 conference of the European Academy of Religion on the question of what, if anything, law and religion scholarship can learn from public theology works such as James K.A. Smith’s Awaiting the King. Anyone interested in joining the panel, please let me know. The draft description of the panel reads as follows:

This panel considers James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies (Desiring the King, Imagining the King, Awaiting the King) and discusses the potential for scholars in Law and Religion to engage with his public theology along the lines of the legal-theological approach as recently suggested by Stefanus Hendrianto in the journal Law and Method. The panel examines Smith’s reservations concerning natural law doctrine as can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other traditions. It explores the potential to use perspectives from Smith’s public theology – in connection with other Christians thinkers such as Augustine – as a legal-theoretical alternative to ideas advanced by Ronald Dworkin and Jürgen Habermas. It will further consider the relevance of Smith’s work in the more general context of public administration. The organizers welcome paper proposals engaging other public theologies than Smith’s, as long as the focus remains on their potential for law and religion scholarship.

For information on the conference, see: https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/general-information

See also:

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

Law and Religious Freedom Book Panel at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, Friday, November 17, 2017, 4 PM – 6 PM EST (II)

 

Panel Chair and Presenter, First Annual Conference, European Academy of Religion, Bologna, 5-8 March, 2018

‘The European Academy of Religion (EuARe) is a research initiative launched under the high patronage of the European Parliament which offers an exchange platform to academies and scientific societies; associations; research centers and institutions; university labs, clusters, and departments; journals, publishers, media and scholars coming from Europe and the surrounding regions’ (see https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/missionstatement).

With over 900 participants, the new research initiative was off to an impressive start this week. Some of the highlights for me included:

Panel on ’The Future of Freedom of Religion: International Perspectives’, chaired by Ana Maria Celis (Chile, President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies), with Mark Hill (Cardiff University), Elizabeth Clark (Brigham Young University, Provo), Asher Maoz (Peres Academic Center, Tel Aviv) and Juan Navarro Floria (Pontificia Universidad Católica, Buenos Aires) presenting.

Panel on ’Commonwealth as Crossroads: Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in the Commonwealth of Nations’, with Fabio Petito (University of Sussex), Erin Wilson (University of Groningen), Monica Toft (Tufts University), Ahmed Garba (Bauchi State University, Nigeria) and M. Christian Green (Commonwealth Initiative for Freedom of Religion or Belief)  as speakers.

Panel on ‘Religious Universities and Professional Education: Positive Influence or Prejudicial Effect?’, chaired by Jessica Giles (The Open University), with Elizabeth Clark (Brigham Young University) and Michael P. Moreland (Villanova University) presenting

I am furthermore grateful for the extraordinarily valuable feedback received after the presentation of my paper on ‘Comparative Constitutional Law and Natural Law’ during my own panel ‘Courts and Religion. Approaches and Perspectives’:

8/124

Courts and Religion. Approaches and Perspectives

Chair: Hans-Martien ten Napel (Leiden Law School)

Speakers:
• Mason Taylor (The Open University), The European Court of Human Rights: Substantive and Institutional Shifts Towards Religious Symbols

• Hans-Martien ten Napel (Leiden Law School), Comparative Constitutional Law and Natural Law

Language: English

10.30-12.30 Aemilia Hotel, Sala Bibiena

 

See also:

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Podcast of the Law and Religious Freedom Book Panel at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston, MA

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion, Bologna, March 5-8, 2018

I will be speaking on the topic of ‘Comparative Constitutional Law and Natural Law.’

The abstract reads as follows:

During the last decade or so the discipline of comparative constitutional law has experienced phenomenal growth. Handbooks in the field have become truly global in outlook.

With the globalization of comparative constitutional law, the question arises which standards should be applied to evaluate different legal arrangements? Alternatively, the field would alter into an empirical discipline that merely registers how such mechanisms differ around the globe.

In a not so distant past, it would still have made sense to use religion as a source of inspiration to evaluate different constitutional arrangements. Using faith is not an option anymore, however, as most political orders are rooted in religious cultures. Within the West, moreover, constitutionalism is increasingly separated from religion.

In the proposed paper, following the work of Santiago Legarre among others, I will suggest that the idea of natural law is a serious candidate to serve as a normative framework.

For more information on the program of the conference, see: https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/program

‘The European Academy of Religion (EuARe) is a research initiative launched under the high patronage of the European Parliament which offers an exchange platform to academies and scientific societies; associations; research centers and institutions; university labs, clusters, and departments; journals, publishers, media and scholars coming from Europe and the surrounding regions.’

See also:

Podcast of the Law and Religious Freedom Book Panel at the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston, MA

Press Release: ‘Twelve ILS seed money grants for frontier research at Leiden Law School’

Paper presentation during XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions