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Former U.S. Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon headlines law and religion lecture series
By April L. Bogle | Emory Law | May 24, 2016 11:05:00 AM

Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, will deliver the next Harold J. Berman Lecture at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR) on September 20.

Tackling the formidable challenges of bringing to life the universal right to religious freedom in a world of diversity, Glendon’s lecture is the highlight of CSLR’s When Law and Religion Meet Lecture Series 2011-2012. The lecture is co-sponsored by Emory’s Aquinas Center of Theology and is a highlight of the Aquinas Center’s silver anniversary celebration in the 2011-12 academic year.

“We are honored and privileged that Professor Glendon has agreed to give the Berman Lecture in honor of our late esteemed colleague, Harold J. Berman, who was a close friend of Professor Glendon. We are eager to learn much from her work in the highest levels of church, state, and the academy on the critical issues of human rights, peace, and justice,” said CSLR Director John Witte, Jr., who is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Alonzo L. McDonald Family Foundation Distinguished Professor at Emory.

Glendon, who is also President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, is the first woman to be named president of one of the major pontifical academies. She has held numerous high-ranking appointments, including head of the Vatican delegation to the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and member of the President's Council on Bioethics during the Bush Administration. She writes and teaches in the fields of human rights, comparative law, family law, constitutional law, and political theory.  Her most recent book, The Forum and the Tower:  How Politicians and Philosophers Have Imagined the World, will be published in July by Oxford University Press. 

Also scheduled to appear in CSLR’s “When Law and Religion Meet” series is Michael J. Broyde, Emory professor of law and CSLR senior fellow.  He will lecture on September 13 and explore several morally difficult questions created by advances in modern science, including genetic cloning in humans and plants.  His task will be to craft both an internal Jewish law response to some of these issues, and religiously-informed public policy recommendations that are cogent even for those with different or no religious convictions.

Broyde’s primary areas of interest are law and religion, Jewish law and ethics, and comparative religious law. He is ordained (yoreh yoreh ve-yadin yadin) as a rabbi by Yeshiva University and is a member (dayan) of the Beth Din of America, the largest Jewish law court in America. His most recent book is Innovation in Jewish Law (Urim Publications, 2010).

Other public lectures will follow in the spring semester on issues of Islamic law in Western democracies, children’s rights and religious objections, and nuclear arms in religious hands.