December 7, 2017

Professor Michel Rosenfeld, co-organizer of the upcoming colloquium "Citizenship, Religion, Identity" 

In Spring 2018, Cardozo School of Law and Columbia University Law School will host a colloquium on religious conflict. The first meeting on January 18 will be hosted at Columbia, the second will be hosted at Cardozo, and the location will alternate until the end of the semester. Cardozo Professor Michel Rosenfeld is organizing the colloquium along with Professor Jamal Greene of Columbia and Professor Susanna Mancini of Bologna University Law School.

Citizenship, Religion, Identity: Intensifying Conflicts and New Challenges

Secularization has played a key role in the road to modernization propelled by the Enlightenment. Confinement of religion to the private sphere and even, for some, the “death of religion” has been widely promoted. At the dawn of the new millennium, however, religion has reemerged as a contentious social and political public issue both domestically and internationally. The sociologist José Casanova famously coined the expression “de-privatization of religion” to mark the new worldwide trend.

These developments have posed major challenges to the traditional models embedded in the principles of separation of church and state in the public sphere; and protection of freedom of and from religion within the private sphere. Globalization and mass scale migration and the resulting crisis surrounding the nation state has positioned religions to become at once major sources of integration of the polity as well as fomenters of vexing challenges against major tenets of the polity’s predominant culture. An important consequence of this trend is a shift in emphasis from the transcendent nature of religion to its cultural and identitarian dimensions. In Western democracies, this process leads to two consequences: on the one hand, it fosters the hegemonic return of Christian culture and tradition in the public sphere, challenging the principle of separation between church and state. On the other hand, the culturalization of religion facilitates the othering and the marginalization of both non-Christian cultures and Christians who object to the mainstream “culturalization” of their religion in ways they consider to be offensive to their faith.

The colloquium will bring together prominent speakers from many countries, disciplines, religious traditions and constitutional cultures to address various salient conflicts and challenges posed by the state of affairs described above.


January 18: Professor John Bowen (Anthropology, Washington University at St. Louis): Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences Socio Cultural Anthropology

Professor Bowen's research focuses on comparative social studies of Islam across the world. In particular, he analyzes how Muslims (judges and scholars, public figures, ordinary people) work across plural sources of norms and values, including diverse interpretations of the Islamic tradition, law codes and decisions, and local social norms.

January 25: Professor Jose Casanova (Sociology and Theology, Georgetown)

Professor Casanova is one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor in the Departments of Sociology and Theology at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (University of Chicago Press, 1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.

February 1: Professor Susanna Mancini (Law, University of Bologna)

Professor Mancini is the chair of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Bologna School of Law and is interested in the intersection of law and culture, and particularly in law and religion. She in an expert in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and has written extensively on cases involving the Islamic veil and the display of crucifixes in public schools. Her recent publications include, Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival (Oxford U. Press 2014) (co-editor) and the Conscience Wars (Cambridge U. Press 2018) (forthcoming) (co-editor). 

February 8: Professor Andrew March (Political Science, Yale)

Professor March has taught Islamic Law at Yale and NYU law schools. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of political philosophy, Islamic law and political thought, religion, and political theory. His book, Islam and Liberal Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2009), is an exploration of the Islamic juridical discourse on the rights, loyalties, and obligations of Muslim minorities in liberal polities, and won the 2009 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion. He is currently working on a book on the problem of divine and popular sovereignty in modern Islamic thought, titled The Caliphate of Man.

February 15: Professor Christian Joppke (Sociology, University of Bern, Switzerland)

Professor Joppke is a comparative political sociologist. His past and present research interests cover social movements and the state, citizenship and immigration, integration policies, most recently religion and politics, especially Islam in Western societies. Among his recent books are Citizenship and Immigration (Cambridge: Polity, 2010), Veil: Mirror of Identity (Cambridge: Polity, 2009), and Selecting by Origin: Ethnic Migration in the Liberal State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).

February 22: Professor Kristina Stoeckl (Sociology, Univ. of Innsbruck, Austria)

Professor Stoeckl's research areas are social and political theory and sociology of religion with a special focus on theories of secularization and religious pluralism, religious actors in politics and civil society, orthodox Christianity and church-state-relations in Russia. Her recent monograph is The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights (Routledge, 2014). 

March 1: Professor Andras Sajo (former Vice President, European Court of Human Rights) (Law, CEU, Budapest, Hungary)

András Sajó was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg. He is a University Professor at CEU and Global Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School. Professor Sajó was the founding dean of Legal Studies at CEU. In addition to his stature as a prominent constitutionalist, he is also a distinguished scholar in the human rights field, including media regulation. Professor Sajó has been extensively involved in legal drafting throughout Eastern Europe. In addition, he participated and/or advised in drafting the Ukrainian, Georgian, and South African constitutions.

March 8: Professor Reva Siegel (Law, Yale) and Professor Douglas NeJaime (Law, Yale)

Reva Siegel is a leading U.S. constitutional law scholar. Her writing draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution. Her recent articles include Community and Conflict: Same-Sex Marriage and Backlash, 64 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. (2017);  Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics, 124Yale L.J. (2015) (with Doug NeJaime); The Supreme Court, 2012 Term — Foreword: Equality Divided, 127 Harv. L. Rev. (2013).

Douglas NeJaime writes in the areas of family law, legal ethics, law and sexuality, and constitutional law. His recent scholarship includes The Nature of Parenthood, 126 Yale Law Journal 2260 (2017); Marriage Equality and the New Parenthood, 129 Harvard Law Review 1185 (2016); Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics, 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015), with Reva Siegel; and Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage, 102 California Law Review 87 (2014).

March 15 Columbia break

March 22: Professor Susannah Heschel (Jewish Studies, Darmouth College)

Professor Heschel is a professor of Jewish studies and the Chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Darmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, the history of anti-Semitism, as well as on Jewish feminism and Jewish views of Islam. Her numerous publications include Jewish and Muslim Feminist Theologies in Dialogue: Discourses of Difference, in: Gender in Judaism and Islam: Common Lives, Uncommon Heritage, ed. Beth Wenger and Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (Philadelphia: NYU Press, November 2014), 17-45.

March 29: Professor Asli Bâli (Law, UCLA)

Professor Bâli’s principal scholarly interests lie in two areas: public international law—including human rights law and the law of the international security order—and comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the Middle East. Her current research examines questions of constitutional design in religiously-divided societies.

April 5 Cardozo break

April 12: Professor Christopher McCrudden (Law, Queens University, Belfast, and U. of Michigan)

Professor McCrudden's main research focus is on human rights law. He concentrates on issues of equality and discrimination as well as the relationship between international and comparative human rights law. Currently, McCrudden's research deals with the foundational principles underpinning human rights practice. He has focused extensively of the reconciliation between religious freedom and equality on the ground of sexual orientation. He was awarded the American Society of International Law’s prize for outstanding legal scholarship in 2008.

April 19: Professor Peter Danchin (Law, Univ. of Maryland)

Professor Danchin's areas of interest include international law, human rights, comparative constitutional law and legal theory. His scholarship focuses, in particular, on critical approaches to the right to religious freedom in international legal, political, moral and theological thought. Recent publications include Politics of Religious Freedom (Chicago University Press: 2015) edited with Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd and Saba Mahmood and Politics of Religious Freedom: Contested Genealogies (113:1, Duke University Press: 2014). In 2014-2015, he was a Senior Research Fellow in Law at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton where he co-lead the Inquiry on Law and Religious Freedom in cooperation with the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Previously, he was a Visiting Professor in Law and Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Fellow in religious studies at the University of Cape Town.