CSLR is a thought leader dedicated to producing innovative scholarship, facilitating challenging conversations, convening the best minds, and training the next generation of academics, lawyers, and religious leaders to advance the global conversation on law and religion. The mission of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion is to produce and promote path-breaking scholarship, teaching, and public programs on the interaction of law and religion around the world. The vision of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion is to be a thought leader dedicated to producing innovative scholarship, facilitating challenging conversations, convening the best minds, and training the next generation of academics, lawyers, and religious leaders to advance the global conversation on law and religion.

Christianity & Global Law Published with Routledge Press

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CSLR is excited to announce the release of Christianity and Global Law, an essential new volume edited by Rafael Domingo and John Witte, Jr. 

Within the broader realm of law and religion, this book discusses the interaction of Christianity and global law, exploring historical and contemporary sources and dimensions of this global law which transcends that of single states and specific regions. As a product of accomplished jurists, theologians, historians, and social and political scientists from across the world, this book is interdisciplinary and interreligious in nature, including critical perspectives from a variety of religious and philosophical traditions. Within the context of the growing literature on global law, this volume maintains that Christianity has norms, institutions, and practices that can contribute positively to challenges faced by the global community. Throughout three sections, this book presents historical, contemporary, and comparative takes on the interaction of Christianity and global law. In the first part, the authors present a historical and biographical snapshot of past Christian principles, ideals, and legal thinkers. The second part continues to draw on historical examples while injecting more normative discussions, addressing various structural principles pertaining to global law, including dignity, equality, subsidiarity, and the rule of law, among others. The third and final part of the book considers issues within global law which have been greatly influenced by Christianity. Through its combination of diverse perspectives and study of various historical, present, and potential influences of Christianity on global law, this volume is sure to be an essential resource for academics and researchers working in a multitude of areas, including law and religion, transnational law, legal philosophy, and legal history.

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CSLR Announces New Publication on Law and Christianity

CSLR is excited to announce the release of Christianity and Criminal Law, an essential new volume edited by Mark Hill QC, Norman Doe, R.H. Helmholz, and John Witte, Jr.

Bringing together a team of outstanding legal scholars, theologians, and historians, this volume addresses the intersection of Christianity and criminal law, within the wider context of law and religion. Across four thematic parts, this book presents an array of diverse perspectives on the topics of Christianity and criminal law, ranging from historical and theological, to philosophical and legal. The first part employs biblical and early Christian sources to discuss Christianity’s historical influences on and contributions to criminal law. The second part presents a comparison of crime and sin, addressing various legal concepts and exploring the role of due process within criminal justice. In the third part, the authors address the intersection of Christianity and criminal offenses, exploring the Christian origins of various crimes. The fourth and final part considers Christianity and the enforcement of criminal law, focusing specifically on defenses, punishment, and forgiveness. Overall, in drawing from diverse areas and perspectives to address the intersection of Christianity and criminal law, this volume will undoubtedly be an invaluable resource for students and academics in various fields, including Law and Religion, Legal Philosophy, and Theology.

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Mourning the Loss of Rabbi Norman Lamm

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion mourns the loss and celebrates the life of Rabbi Norman Lamm (1928–2020). Rabbi Lamm was a Modern Orthodox rabbi, author, master orator, and communal leader. He served as the head of Yeshiva University for nearly three decades, rescuing it from bankruptcy in the 1970’s and expanding its resources to students. His scholarship advanced the study of several fields, including Jewish law, literature, and philosophy. Rabbi Lamm was a teacher and mentor to many prominent scholars, including Emory's own Michael Broyde and Deborah Lipstadt. Click below to watch a recording of Rabbi Lamm's visit to Emory's campus in 2002 and hear some reflections from CSLR's Michael Broyde.

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Howard Lesnick Passes Away at 88

Howard Lesnick, a prominent law and religion scholar, passed away on April 19, 2020. Lesnick was the Jefferson B. Fordham Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Along with many articles on ethical responsibility in law, religion and morality, and moral education, Howard Lesnick published Religion in Legal Thought and Practice, The Moral Stake in Education: Contested Premises and Practices (with J.F. Goodman), and Listening for God: Religion and Moral Discernment, which asks where moral imperatives come from, and how the answers found in religion and in law affect one another.

He worked to develop methods by which students, teachers, and practitioners could integrate their work with their aspirations and values, work recognized by an AALS Award for outstanding contributions to public service. Howard was also a co-founder of CUNY Law School. Over the course of his career, Howard Lesnick served as a member of the board of directors of the Center for Law and Human Values and Philadelphia Community Legal Services, on the advisory board for the Journal of Law and Religion, and as visiting fellow at the Center for Law and Social Policy. 

Lesnick did much to advance the scope of law and religion. A mentor to five and a half decades of lawyers and law professors, his influence will shine bright into the future. He will be greatly missed.

Links: Penn Law Profile / Obituary

Howard Lesnick

Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

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CSLR faculty, staff, and fellows are following Emory University’s guidelines for remote learning and social distancing in light of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. If you need to contact a CSLR faculty member or employee, please refer to the contact information listed here. Note that response times may be longer than usual.

Although the present circumstances have impacted our Center’s work in many ways, we are undeterred in the pursuit of our mission to produce path-breaking scholarship, teaching, and public programs on the interaction of law and religion around the world. During these challenging times, we are redoubling our efforts to develop new forms and forums of digital scholarship in the field of law and religion. Our new online publication, Canopy Forum, is growing rapidly and delivering expert analysis to thousands of readers in more than sixty countries – including new and forthcoming articles about the intersections of law, religion, and public health. Our flagship Journal of Law and Religion has just published a new issue with articles and essays by leading scholars. Our faculty and fellows are creating new models of online teaching and research.

We thank our students, colleagues, and collaborators for their flexibility, compassion, and resolve in the face of this public health crisis. And we send our prayers and best wishes to all those whose lives and livelihoods are affected by the coronavirus.

CSLR Awarded Grant for Law & Ministry

Last month, CSLR received a $350,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to fund a new 29-month study on law and ministry in the United States.  This study, which was conceived by CSLR fellow and Emory Law School senior lecturer, Dr. Shlomo Pill, will map the ways in which federal, state, and local laws impact professional ministry and church administration while identifying ways in which seminary and continuing pastoral education can better prepare Christian clergy and church leaders to successfully navigate America’s complex and evolving legal landscape. 
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Eric Wang

CSLR Welcomes Eric Wang

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University is proud to welcome the latest Woodruff Fellow and JD/MTS joint degree student, Mr. Eric Wang.  A summa cum laude graduate from Princeton University, Eric is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Candler School of Theology. He will join CSLR and the Law School in the fall to pursue his JD.

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Video Spotlight: Public Health and the Jewish Tradition

Michael J. Broyde sat down on March 18, 2020 to discuss public health and the Jewish tradition in the midst of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, he discusses the relationship between public health experts and religious authorities, the difference between one's duties to self and community, and what the Jewish tradition can offer in times of public health emergencies.

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Alonzo McDonald Passes Away at 91

Alonzo McDonald 48C, a longtime friend and generous benefactor of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR) has passed away, on Nov. 21, 2019. He was 91. “The world has lost one of its great leaders of church, state, society, and economy,” Witte said. “We join his extended family and global network of friends both in mourning Al McDonald’s death and in celebrating his remarkable life of faith and works. We will sorely miss his deep wisdom, generosity, tenacity, discipline, and integrity – and his incisive and insightful questions at our conferences. The saints in heaven have just met their match.”

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