Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Conference on ‘Public Spirit and Public Virtue’, December 6, 2017, Washington, DC

‘In an increasingly globalized and pluralized world it becomes progressively more difficult to define the public virtues that have delineated the West, and as a result, harder to safe-guard the freedoms—economic, political, and religious—which are the fruits of those virtues. A citizen who possesses “town spirit,” according to Alexis de Tocqueville, is one who “focuses his affections and his hopes on the town, who knows how to take his place there and to participate in its governance.” This spirit is the result of the visible presence of public virtue—“a free and strong corporate body…which merits the trouble of trying to direct it.” This one-day conference will examine the ways in which the Western world might see a revival of public spirit through public virtue and remain a civilization marked by “order and public tranquility” that only this spirit and virtue can provide.’

Source, and more information: https://acton.org/event/2017/06/06/public-spirit-and-public-virtue.

On the International Conference series ‘Reclaiming the West: Freedom and Responsibility’, of which this conference forms a part:

‘The West today is in a state of crisis. Facing immense domestic economic and political problems, North America, Europe, and other Western nations are also struggling to address existential threats from without. But above all, the West appears to suffering from a crisis of self-belief: one which touches centrally upon its attachment to the tradition of ordered liberty in politics, freedom in the economy, strong civil societies, commitment to virtue, as well as the unique synthesis of faith and reason that is at the root of Western civilization.

To explore these questions concerning the Western tradition of human liberty and responsibility and its Judeo-Christian culture, the Acton Institute is holding three international conferences which will bring together theologians, economists, political thinkers, philosophers, religious figures, business leaders, foreign policy thinkers, journalists, historians, and legal scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. Among other topics, they will discuss the origin and character of the West’s many problems, consider how these matters might be addressed in ways that draw upon the West’s unique heritage, and examine how Europe and North America can contribute to each other’s revival.’

Source: https://acton.org/program/reclaiming-west-freedom-responsibility.

See also:

Book review: ‘The Political Theology of European Integration,’ by Mark R. Royce

Participant, Acton University, June 20-23 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan (I)

Press Release: ‘Hans-Martien ten Napel has book published “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human”’

 

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)

About the three distinguished panelists:

Professor Cathleen Kaveny, a scholar who focuses on the relationship of law, religion, and morality, joined the Boston College faculty in January 2014 as the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor, a position that includes appointments in both the department of theology and the law school. She is the first faculty member to hold such a joint appointment. A member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, Professor Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health-law group.

Professor Kaveny has published over a hundred articles and essays, in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She serves on the masthead of Commonweal as a regular columnist. Her book, Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2012. It won a first place award in the category of “Faithful Citizenship” from the Catholic Press Association. She is currently completing a book entitled Prophecy without Contempt: An Ethics of Religious Rhetoric in the Public Square.

Professor Kaveny regularly teaches contract law to first-year law students. She also teaches a number of seminars which explore the relationship between theology, philosophy, and law, such as “Faith, Morality, and Law,” “Mercy and Justice,” and “Complicity.”

Professor Kaveny is the president of the Society of Christian Ethics, the major professional society for scholars of Christian ethics and moral theology in North America. It meets annually in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.

Professor Kaveny has served on a number of editorial boards including The American Journal of Jurisprudence, The Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Law and Religion, and The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. She has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, Yale University and Georgetown University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center. From 1995 until 2013 she taught law and theology at the University of Notre Dame, where she was a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law.’

Source: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/law/academics-faculty/faculty-directory/cathleen-kaveny.html

Shaun Casey is director of the Berkley Center and a professor of the practice in Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. He previously was U.S. special representative for religion and global affairs and director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs. He has also held positions at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., the Center for American Progress, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Casey has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq, as well the role of religion in American presidential politics. He is the author of The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960 (2009) and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology (forthcoming, with Michael Kessler); he is writing a book on ethics and international politics tentatively titled Niebuhr’s Children. Casey holds a B.A. from Abilene Christian University, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and M.Div. and Th.D. in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School.’

Source: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/people/shaun-casey

Robin W. Lovin is William H. Scheide Senior Fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, and Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics emeritus at Southern Methodist University.  A resident scholar at CTI since 2012, he became a member of the SMU faculty in 1994, and served as Dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology from 1994-2002. Dr. Lovin’s most recent books are Christian Realism and the New Realities (2008) and An Introduction to Christian Ethics (2011). He has also written extensively on religion and law and comparative religious ethics. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, former president of the Society of Christian Ethics, and a member of the advisory board for the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life at Oxford University.’

Source: http://www.ctinquiry.org/program/bio_robin-lovin

See also:

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 at 4 PM – 6 PM EST

Paper presentation during panel on ‘Religion & Pluralism in a Changing World’, BYU Law School, Provo, Utah

Book review: ‘The Political Theology of European Integration,’ by Mark R. Royce

 

 

 

Participant, Acton University, June 20-23 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan (I)

Source: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=240138

This week I will be attending the 2017 Acton University Conference, at DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Acton University ‘is a unique, four-day exploration of the intellectual foundations of a free society. Guided by a distinguished, international faculty, Acton University is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge and integrate philosophy, theology, business, development – with sound, market based, economics.’

It is organized by the Acton Institute, ‘a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles’.

Topics dealt with include:

Thomas Jefferson v. Alexander Hamilton

The Inspiration of the Declaration: What Calvin Coolidge’s Views on Government and Faith Tell Us Today

John Locke’s Philosophy of Liberalism

Edmund Burke and the Origins of Modern Conservatism

Alexis de Tocqueville: Does Liberty Follow from Democracy?

Democracy and Development

Natural Law and Human Flourishing

“Post-Consensus” Culture and Natural Law

Religious Liberty: The Dawn of the First Amendment

The Religious Problem with Religious Freedom

Marriage and Religious Liberty

How to Understand and Critique Secularism

Presenters will be, among others:

Ryan Anderson, Ph.D., William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy, The Heritage Foundation

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D., University Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science, Union University

The Honorable Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Lenore Ealy, Ph.D., President, The Philanthropic Enterprise, Inc.

Kenneth Grasso, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Political Science, Texas State University

Carrie Gress, Ph.D., Author and Public Intellectual

Robert Joustra, Ph.D., Director of the Centre for Christian Scholarship, Redeemer University College

Daniel Mark, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Villanova University, and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

Svetlana Papazov, D.Min., Lead Pastor, Real Life Church; CEO & Founder, Real Life Center for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Excellence

John Pinheiro, Ph.D., Professor of History and Founding Director of Catholic Studies, Aquinas College

Amity Shlaes, Presidential Scholar, The King’s College.

Sources, and more informationActon UniversityActon Institute.

See alsoUpcoming Speaking Engagement: Symposium The Federalist Papers, Brussel, 20 april 2017

Acton University, June 20-23 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Looking forward to participating in this year’s Acton University.

‘What is Acton University?

  • Four days that integrate sound economics, business, philosophy, theology, and intellectual history
  • A customized learning plan that you create: featuring over 120 courses taught by over 80 experts: an international, world class faculty
  • An exploration of the intellectual foundations of freedom, and respect for the dignity and value of the human person
  • A place to learn about the classical foundations of economics, philosophy, theology, liberty and how they apply to our culture today
  • A unique educational experience enabling you to lead with a greater understanding of the intersection of liberty and morality
  • An international, ecumenical network of attendees helping you to apply your knowledge in shaping culture towards a free and virtuous society’

Source, and more information, and registration: http://university.acton.org/about-au.

Acton University is organized by the Acton Institute, ‘a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles’. See https://acton.org.

Public Lecture by Professor Brett Scharffs on ‘Why Religious Freedom’, April 7, 15.00h, Free University, Amsterdam

UPDATE: For location, and registration, see here: http://centre-religion-law.org/nl/actueel/50-lezing-why-religous-freedom-7-april.

The full title of the paper which Professor Brett Scharffs will present, is: ‘Why Religious Freedom? Why the Religiously Committed, the Religiously Indifferent and Those Hostile to Religion Should Care’.

The abstract of the paper reads as follows:

‘Religious freedom: Is it the grandparent of human rights, or the neglected stepchild? As with most false dichotomies, the answer is both. But it is also the underappreciated core, or tap root, of human rights. Why should we care about religious freedom? For the seeker of religious truth, the answer may be obvious: Religious freedom creates the conditions, the “constitutional space,” for investigation and the pursuit of truth. But what about those who fall into other groups? What about the religiously committed – who are confident they are in possession of religious truth. Or the religiously indifferent – who are not much interested in religion or spirituality. Or those who are affirmatively hostile to religion – those who believe religion does more harm than good. Should they – should we – care about religious freedom? There are three reasons why we should all care deeply about freedom of religion (and belief). First, is the role of religious freedom as a historical foundation for constitutional, political, civil and human rights. Without freedom of religion and belief (FORB), the entire human rights project may collapse from its own weight. Second, FORB is necessary if we are to resist statism and other monistic views of state power. And third, we may not have the intellectual, political or rhetorical resources to defend conscience if we do not respect and protect FORB.’

You can read the full paper here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2911086##.

Brett G. Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law at Brigham Young University Law School, and was appointed Director of the Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies effective May 1, 2016.

The lecture is organized by the Centre for Religion and Law, a collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Theology of the VU University Amsterdam, and the newly formed Netherlands Law and Religion Scholars Network.

For more information (in Dutch) on the Centre for Religion and Law and the Netherlands Law and Religion Scholars Network, see http://centre-religion-law.org/nl/.

Article ‘Princeton Seminary Reforms Its Views on Honoring Tim Keller’

‘The most popular Reformed preacher and author in America today is not eligible to receive Princeton Theological Seminary’s annual award in Reformed theology and public witness.

The mainline seminary reversed its decision to honor Tim Keller with a prize named for neo-Calvinist theologian Abraham Kuyper following outcry over the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) pastor’s conservative positions.

Princeton president Craig Barnes announced the news in a letter released Wednesday morning.’

Read the whole article in Christianity Today here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/march/princeton-rescinds-tim-keller-kuyper-prize-women-ordination.html.

In my forthcoming book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human, I write that there is an increasing academic fascination with cities, both in theology and law and political science, and rightly so. The reason for this lies without doubt in part in the prognosis that during the 21st century globally ever more people will be living in cities. As a result, the urge is felt to develop a theology for the city, with the help of which urban populations can be reached.

An example is provided by the ministry of Tim Keller in New York City. His Redeemer Presbyterian Church, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014 and can already in many ways be regarded as a success story, recently adopted an even more ambitious plan to reach a still larger part of the population of Manhattan. Also more in general, New York City can, contrary to what many people would expect, best be characterised as a religiously vibrant place.

This is the eleventh post in a new series introducing my new book.

For the first ten posts, please see:

Yale Law Professor: ‘American courts are tackling Islamophobia – why won’t Europeans?’

Waarom de PVV niet het initiatief in de kabinetsformatie moet krijgen

New Book: ‘The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation’ (2017)

R.R. Reno on ‘Islam and America’

Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope (2017): ‘Learn How the Seeds of the Trump Presidency Were Sown in the Obama White House’

Major New Report by the National Secular Society: Rethinking Religion and Belief in Public Life

Symposium on Christian Democracy and America: ‘Can Christian Democracy Be America’s Next European Import?’

Journalist Ben Judah, Author of This is London (2016): ‘I Found Faith Everywhere’

The Washington Post on Why Religious Freedom Could Become the Major Religion Story of 2017

Book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge) now available for pre-order.

Upcoming Speaking Engagement, Journal of Law, Religion & State International Conference: Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives, Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel

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‘The encounter of religion with the rule of law may generate tension but also mutual inspiration. The rule of law implies law’s supremacy over other normative systems and personal commitments. It also implies that law applies to everyone equally. Religion represents a normative system that may in some areas be different from – and stand in opposition to – state law. Religion may deny the supremacy of state law and pose divine law as supreme instead. It may, alternatively, seek exemptions from state law in those matters where the two conflict.

TOPICS: In this conference we seek to study this tension and discuss the following questions:
– Does religion (in general or a specific religion) accept the rule of state law?
– What are the boundaries (if any) of such acceptance?
– In what cases would religion challenge state law and in what cases would it seek exemptions?
– Can a policy of multiculturalism and of legal pluralism, which give more room to religious freedom, be reconciled with the rule of law or does it undermine it?
– What other policies should states follow in response to these tensions?

Religion may not only compete with state law but also inspire it, which leads us to investigate religion’s various understandings of the rule of law. Here is just one example. The concept of law in the context of the rule of law is ambiguous and open to different interpretations. Some (positivists) understand law as a set of rules fixed by social institutions, and others (natural law advocates) understand law as if it includes fundamental principles of justice and morality. Religions may take a position in that debate and contribute not only to the abstract understanding of law, but also to the identification of those moral principles that are part of law. We therefore also plan to explore the following:
– What is the position of religion with regard to the concept of law and the rule of law?
– Many religions developed partial or comprehensive legal systems of their own. Did religions also develop a concept of rule of law? What is its scope and meaning?
– The concept of rule of law also may be used in theological context as a metaphor to understand the boundaries of divine actions and intervention in the world. Is God constrained by law – and by what kind of law: law of nature, morality?

These and similar questions will be discussed in an international conference that will be held at Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel, on November 20-22, 2016.’

Source: http://www.ssrn.com/update/lsn/lsnann/ann16021.html. More information will follow.

Presentation during Cardiff Festival for Law and Religion

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‘The Cardiff Festival of Law and Religion on May 5th and 6th at Cardiff University celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff University, the first degree of its type in a British University since the Reformation.

A number of events are being held to reflect upon how the study of Law and Religion has developed over the last twenty-five years and the likely future trajectory. This includes the 2016 Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Conference, a keynote address by Professor David Little, a celebratory dinner and the launch of F Cranmer, M Hill, C Kenny and R Sandberg (ed) The Confluence of Law and Religion: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Work of Norman Doe (Cambridge University Press, 2016).’

My own presentation was entitled: ‘The “New Critics of Religious Freedom” and the Inspiration they Unintentionally Provide’.

The summary of the paper reads as follows:

The ‘New Critics of Religious Freedom’ have become increasingly vocal of late. The first part of the paper will summarise their main criticisms, some of which contain a considerable amount of truth, such as that the right to freedom of religion or belief has historically been heavily influenced by Christianity in general and Protestantism in particular.

The second part of the paper will argue that at first sight there also appears to be one major downside to the criticisms. As it turns out to be hardly possible to isolate the right to freedom of religion or belief from the general idea of a democratic constitutional state, what the critics are really questioning is the current state of Western liberal democracy as a whole.

The third part of the paper will propose that the reason for this close connection between religious freedom and the democratic constitutional state lies in the fact that the latter has clearly been influenced by Christianity as well. Still, the new critics of religious freedom may on closer inspection also serve as a source of inspiration for a necessary, theologically driven reform of some of the central tenets of liberal democracy as it has developed in recent decades.

For more information, see: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/clr/networks/The%20Cardiff%20Festival%20for%20Law%20and%20Religion%20Full%20Programme.pdf.

Secretary, Board of Trustees, Stichting De Honderd Gulden Reis (George Puchinger Foundation) (1999 – Present)

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‘Introduction
Stichting De Honderd Gulden Reis was founded by the Reformed historian dr. G. Puchinger on 23 September 1996. Since his death in 1999, this Foundation has been governed by a board of trustees.

What can you apply for?
Grants for studies abroad (travel, study and/or accomodation expenses) by students or graduates of (art) history, the arts, law, theology or philosophy at one of the Dutch universities, hogeschool or similar institution. The grants are intended for those who have an affinity with the Protestant-Christian tradition or with studies that relate to Protestant Christianity.

Conditions

The Stichting only deals with a request if it satisfies each of the following four conditions:
1. The applicant receives an education at a Dutch university, or has done so and wants to broaden his/her horizon.
2. The applicant is a student or a graduate in (art) history, the arts, law, theology or philosophy.
3. The applicant and/or study deals with Protestant Christianity.
4. The study in question is offered outside the regular Bachelor or Master curriculum.

Who can apply?
Students or graduates in (art) history, the arts, law, theology or philosophy at a Dutch university or similar institution, in particular they who have an affinity with the Protestant-Christian tradition.

How to submit a request.
We would like to receive your application through email. In addition to your email and this request form, please enclose a budget estimate and a curriculum vitae. The extent to which you want to study Protestant Christianity and/or have affinity with the Protestant-Christian tradition must appear from the written motivation as submitted in the application form.’

See for more information, and to download the application form, here:

http://www.hdc.vu.nl/nl/over-het-hdc/stichtingen/honderdgulden/Honderguldenengels.aspx.

Participant, event ‘Research on Religion, crucial for Europe’s societies’, Brussels, 17 March 2016

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‘The LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies have written a statement on the importance of research on religion for Europe’s societies. The event aims at translating this statement into practice by showcasing excellent examples. The event is also meant to discuss the statement with a wider public. Policy makers, research funders or anyone with an interest in SSH research in general or religion research in particular, is very welcome to participate.

Programme

10.30 am Registration

11.00

Welcome by Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU

11.10

Introduction by Johannes Zachhuber, Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, University of Oxford

11.30

Religious recognition, presentation by Risto Saarinen, Professor of Ecumenics, University of Helsinki

12.00

Religion in crisis and Roman Catholic self-definition, presentation by Joris Geldhof, Professor Pastoral and Empirical Theology, Mathijs Lamberigts, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies and Terrence Merrigan, Professor Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, KU Leuven

12.30

Lunch

1.00 pm

Healthcare Values Partnership, presentation by Andrew Papanikitas, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, University of Oxford

1.30

Muslim-Christian dialogue, presentation by Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies and Assistant Principal Religion and Society, University of Edinburgh

2.00

Q&A followed by discussion

3.00

End’

Source: http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/calendar/research-on-religion-crucial-for-europes-societies/.

For the stement by the LERU Deans of Theology and Religious Studies, see: http://www.leru.org/files/general/Research%20on%20Religion%20crucial%20for%20Europe’s%20societies_statement_February%202016_docx1.pdf.

About LERU:

‘Since its founding in 2002, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has emerged as a prominent advocate for the promotion of basic research at European universities. LERU strongly believes that basic research plays an essential role in the innovation process and significantly contributes to the progress of society.

LERU aims at furthering the understanding and knowledge of politicians, policy makers and opinion leaders about the role and activities of research-intensive universities. Drawing on the impressive academic potential and expertise of its network, LERU has a strong and significant impact on research policy in Europe.’