Fourteenth Annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics and Culture, 9/16

 

Liberalism, Accommodation
and the Profanity of Law

 

Nomi Stolzenberg
Photo by Scarlett Freund

 

Monday, September 16
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Martin G. McGuinn '67 Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 201)

 

Click to Register

 

The principles of political morality that have long served to legitimate the American legal order are experiencing unprecedented strain and stress.  In particular, the principle of religious accommodation, according to which some individuals are to be exempted from laws most people wish to see enforced, has generated enormous controversy.  At both the practical and theoretical levels, there is a growing sense that the current understanding of “accommodation” is unsustainable and that liberalism itself is devolving into paradoxes that threaten to undermine the liberal state.

The Fourteenth Annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics and Culture aims to ask how some of the basic conceptual building blocks of the liberal state can be fortified, reformed or limited, in response to growing dissatisfaction with the paradoxes or perversities of life in a classically liberal regime in the early 21st century. Through a conversation among leading scholars of law, religion, history and theology, the conference will explore links between liberalism and conservatism, pluralism and empire, states of exception and states of law. It will further explore the interpenetration of religion and secularism, and theories of God, of human nature, and of law, drawing heavily on recent and classical scholarship for and against “political theology.”

Inspired by the important work of Professor Nomi Stolzenberg, the Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, the conference will focus on what Stolzenberg has termed “the profanity of law,” the future of liberalism, and the future of accommodation litigation in the federal courts.

This event takes place on Monday, September 16 in the Martin G. McGuinn '67 Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 201). It is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 5.5 substantive and 1 ethics CLE credits

 

Schedule

 

8:30 a.m. — Welcome

Patrick McKinley Brennan, Professor of Law and John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

 

8:45 a.m. — Featured Speaker

Nomi Stolzenberg, Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law

 

9:15 a.m.

Suzanne Last Stone, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

 

10:00 a.m.

Abner S. Greene, Leonard F. Manning Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

 

10:45 a.m. — Break

 

11:00 a.m.

Patrick McKinley Brennan, Professor of Law and John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

 

11:45 a.m.

Susanna Blumenthal, William Prosser Professor of Law and Professor of History and Co-Director of the Program in Law and History, University of Minnesota Law School

 

12:30 p.m. — Lunch

 

1:30 p.m.

Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

 

2:15 p.m.

Steven Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Law & Religion and Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Law & Philosophy, University of San Diego School of Law

 

3:00 p.m.

Jonathan Sheehan, Director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and Professor of History, University of California Berkeley

 

3:45 p.m. — Break

 

4:00 p.m. — Response by Professor Stolzenberg & Roundtable Discussion

 

5:00 p.m. — Conclusion