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Executive Summary

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University (CSLR) pursues pathbreaking research, scholarship, teaching, and public education on the interactions of law and religion around the world. Established in 1982, the Center operated this past year with 6 core Emory law faculty, 6 residential postdoctoral fellows, 2 professional staff members, 2 senior editorial consultants, and several dozen research assistants and student employees. The Center remains a hub in the global network of some 1,600 law and religion scholars and operates a 10,000-person mailing list. CSLR offers 6 advanced degree programs; 15 cross-listed graduate level courses; student and postdoc research fellowships; ongoing major research projects; two book series with Cambridge University Press and Eerdmans Publishing; the flagship Journal of Law and Religion, an imprint of Cambridge University Press; a thriving online publication, Canopy Forum; a weekly podcast; and a substantial social media presence. CSLR’s projects and faculty have to date published more than 360 volumes, with some of our major titles translated into as many as 15 languages.

During the 2020–21 academic year, our team treated pandemic-related challenges as an opportunity to enhance our scholarly impact and productivity while learning new methods of teaching, collaborating, and distributing scholarship online. We pivoted successfully to remote work in the spring of 2020, and most of our faculty and staff continued working remotely throughout the past academic year. This transition was aided by CSLR’s strategic development, begun already in 2019, of new forms of digital scholarship and communication tools. Consequently, our faculty, fellows, staff, and student employees shifted relatively seamlessly to working together from afar to yield another highly productive year.

Highlights of CSLR’s Achievements in the 2020–21 academic year include:

  • New Scholarship by CSLR Core Faculty and Residential Fellows
    • 13 new books
    • 114 new scholarly articles, book chapters, book reviews, and popular articles
  • CSLR-Supported Publications
    • 14 new books published in CSLR-led book series
    • 61 new scholarly articles published in 3 issues of the Journal of Law and Religion, with 50,104 full article downloads and 7,170 subscriptions
    • 184 new articles and 13 thematic series published in Canopy Forum, with 60,434 unique page views from readers in 173 countries
    • 17 new podcast episodes
  • Teaching by CSLR Core Faculty and Residential Fellows
    • Taught 14 courses with a total enrollment of 492 students
    • Directed 13 SJD/PhD dissertations
    • Advised 15 law journal notes
    • Supervised 29 directed studies/research projects
    • Made 34 conference presentations and public appearances
  • New Research Grants and Projects
    • Secured $3.2 million in 8 new multiyear gifts and grants
    • Launched a major new project on “International Ethics & Leadership: Law, Religion, Health & Security” led by new senior fellow Dr. Ira Bedzow
    • Launched an innovative project on “Islamic Political Theory” led by Professor Abdullahi An-Na’im
    • Created the McDonald Distinguished Fellowship in Law, Religion, and Racial Justice
    • Created the Robert Pool Fellowship in Law and Christianity
    • Created the Fellowship in Native American Law and Religion
    • Created the Charlotte McDaniel Endowment for the advanced study of ethics and human rights
    • Initiated an online Harold J. Berman Global Course in Law and Religion
    • Received enhanced support for the Spruill Professor of Law and Religion, Rafael Domingo
    • Continued the Lilly-funded project on Law and Ministry
    • Continued the McDonald Distinguished Fellows Program in Law and Religion
  • Social Media Engagement
    • Twitter: 2,652 followers; 428 Tweets; 3,950 engagements; 6,009 “clicks”
    • Facebook: 320+ new posts, 733+ engagements, 1,300 “clicks”
    • YouTube: 35 new videos; 43,576 views; 4,100 hours viewed

Each of these efforts is described in more detail in the full report available here.