Emory Report
October 15, 2007
Volume 60, Number 7

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October 15, 2007
CSLR conference to predict next 25 years of law, religion issues

By kim urquhart

Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion will anticipate and articulate the hardest questions facing the world in the future during a major conference, “From Silver to Gold: The Next 25 years of Law and Religion,” Oct. 24-26 at Emory Law School.

In celebration of the CSLR’s 25th anniversary, the conference features presentations by two dozen of the world’s leading scholars, including Robert Bellah, University of California at Berkeley; Stephen Carter, Yale University; and University of Chicago’s Jean Bethke Elshtain and Martin E. Marty.

“We’ve asked our speakers to be forward-thinking, even prophetic, in their presentations, with an eye to giving legal and religious professionals and activists something of a map and manifesto for this field,” said CSLR Director John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law.

The speakers will address the themes most central to the CSLR’s study during the past quarter-century, including religious liberty, human rights, and the relations of religions and states; sex, marriage and family life; and Christian, Jewish and Islamic legal studies.

Emory President Emeritus James Laney, who established the University’s Law and Religion Program in 1982, will deliver the opening keynote address at 8 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the Emory Conference Center’s Lullwater Ballroom. The address is free and open to the public, and registration is not required for this portion of the conference.

Titled “The Foundations, Fundamentals and Future of Law and Religion,” Laney will trace CSLR’s roots from a quarter-century of scholarship and teaching to the future of the field.

“Success of the CSLR has far exceeded our most optimistic hopes at its inception,” said Laney. “It has become a model program of its kind, demonstrating that the academic community can indeed address moral and religious issues with integrity.”

Laney is also featured in a recent “Q&A with the Experts” interview posted on the CSLR Web site. Visit www.law.emory.edu/cslr to learn more about why Laney started Emory’s Law and Religion Program.
Looking to the future, Laney in his keynote will reflect on law as a vocation.

“Because law in that perspective is a moral endeavor as well as an academic field, emphasis upon the original aspects of vocation can imbue practice with concerns of ethics that go beyond the conventional preoccupations of a career,” he said. “Such a perspective carries important implications for our understanding of justice in all its dimensions, how we define the relation between interests and basic rights, and how we are to define the limits of power in its various embodiments.”

Attendees will receive a coffee table-style book commemorating the program’s 25 years. “When Law and Religion Meet: The Point of Convergence” explores the tough questions sparked by the intersection of law and religion and offers projections, from global leaders in both fields, on the future flashpoints of the law-religion entanglement.

Full conference registration is required and seats are limited. To register, visit www.law.emory.edu or call 404-712-8710. Attendance is free to Emory faculty, staff, students and alumni. Registration fees for non-Emory attendees apply.

A total of 13 hours of Continuing Legal Education Credit, including 1.5 ethics hours, is available for attorneys for a fee of $65. CLE sign- up takes place at the door.