In this seminar (offered for the first time in 2015 and thus still a work-in-progress as I write this), we will inquire into the appropriate relationship between the state and religion from a variety of perspectives: historical, philosophical, comparative, and with some attention, but not a primary focus, on the American law of church and state. We will certainly devote a session to Locke's "Letter Concerning Toleration," and another to Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance and Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom." We will probably devote a session to Ronald Dworkin's, "Religion Without God"; and another to John Rawls' argument for religious freedom in "A Theory of Justice." We will definitely discuss some selection of European arrangements and judicial decisions about the state and religion, which are often wildly at odds with what many Americans assume is the right path for a liberal democracy. And we will discuss some selection of American cases and problems. With regard to both the European and American cases/problems, there will be room for student input about what topics to consider, and for substantial student presentations in the latter part of the seminar. (Such an in-class presentation will not be a requirement, but it will be an option for some. Of course, regular attendance, and preparation, and participation are required of everyone.)
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