News

October 13, 2011

Alabama Law Hosts “Matters of Faith” Symposium Oct. 14th

“Matters of Faith: Religious Experience and Legal Response,” part of the Sarat Symposia on Law, Knowledge and Imagination, takes place this Friday, Oct. 14th, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. in the Bedsole Moot Court Room (140).

Symposium speakers are:

  • Austin Sarat, Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar, The University of
    Alabama School of Law, and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence
    and Political Science, Amherst College
  • Corey Brettschneider, Associate Professor of Political Science, Brown University
  • Caroline Mala Corbin, Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law
  • Richard W. Garnett, Associate Dean and Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of
    Political Science, University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Amanda Porterfield, Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion, Florida State University
  • Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego School
    of Law.

“The relationship of American law and faith has long been a subject of controversy,” says Sarat. “Secularists insist on rigid separation. In their view, the state must remain neutral in all matters of faith. Others believe that some of the most important tenets of American law have religious roots and that law is enriched when it engages matters of faith. These arguments flourish in various academic disciplines: history, political theory, literary studies, sociology, and law, to say nothing of the political arena and conversations in various faith communities.”

Accordingly, “Matters of Faith: Religious Experience and Legal Response” will explore several key questions:

  • Does modern law depend on faith or does faith threaten to undermine it?
  • How does law invest expressions of faith and faith based practice with particular meanings?
  • How does law respond to changes in those expressions and practices?
  • What are the most important/persuasive critical perspectives on the relationship of law and
    faith?
  • When should law accommodate religious expression? When should law recognize faith as the
    grounds for exempting someone from the reach of otherwise valid law?

This event is open to alumni, media and other guests. No registration required.