Lectures & Events

Faith, Freedom, and the Family: The New Challenges of Faith-Based Family Laws in Western Democracies
William A. Brahms Lecture on Law & Religion
presented by Center for Professional Ethics
OCT 17, 2012
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom (A59)
CLE Credit
1 hour of in-person CLE credit available, pending approval

As the presidential election heats up, the nation is witnessing ever sharper debates over abortion and contraception, same-sex marriage and polygamy, and the role of religious communities in the delivery of charity and education. Prof. Witte will explore a volatile new issue of religious freedom and family law now confronting European democracies, and about to explode in North America: to what extent may Islamic and other religious communities have the freedom to develop their own independent religious laws to govern the sex, marriage, and family lives of their voluntary faithful who cannot abide state laws?
Speaker Information
John WitteJohn Witte, Jr.
Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law
Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor
Director, Center for the Study of Law and Religion
Emory Law School

A specialist in legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty, John Witte, Jr. has published 220 articles, 13 journal symposia, and 26 books. Recent books include: Sex, Marriage and Family Life in John Calvin’s Geneva, 2 vols. (2005, 2012); Modern Christian Teachings on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, 3 vols. (2006); God’s Joust, God’s Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (2006); The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (2007); Christianity and Law: An Introduction (2008); Sins of the Fathers: The Law and Theology of Illegitimacy Reconsidered (2009); Christianity and Human Rights: An Introduction (2010); Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (3d ed. 2011); and Religion and Human Rights: An Introduction (2012).

Professor Witte’s writings have appeared in 15 languages, and he has lectured and convened conferences throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, and South Africa. With major funding from the Pew, Ford, Lilly, Luce, and McDonald foundations, he has directed 12 major international projects on democracy, human rights, and religious liberty, and on marriage, family, and children. These projects have collectively yielded more than 160 new volumes and 250 public forums around the world. He edits two major book series, “Studies in Law and Religion,” and “Religion, Marriage and Family.” He has been selected 11 times by the Emory law students as the Most Outstanding Professor and has won dozens of other awards and prizes for his teaching and research.

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