Draft Conference Program (9/20/02)

"The Place of Theology in the Liberal State
and the Globalized World"
Interdisciplinary Conference

Free and Open to Students, Faculty, and the Community
October 11-12, 2002 -- UW Law School, Madison, WI

Sponsored by the Project for Law and the Humanities
with support from the Anonymous Fund, The Institute for Legal Studies,
the UW Law School, the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies,
the Religious Studies Program, Edgewood College, and the University Book Store.

Friday, October 11th

8:30-9:00 Continental breakfast in Law School Atrium
Location: Godfrey & Kahn Hall (Law School room 2260)

9:00-9:30 Welcome Remarks & Introductions
Howard S. Erlanger, Professor of Law and Sociology, and Director, Institute for Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin Law School.
Introduction of hosts: Leonard V. Kaplan, Mortimer M. Jackson Professor of Law and Co-Director, Project for Law and the Humanities, UW Law School and Charles L. Cohen, Professor of History & Director, Religious Studies Program, University of Wisconsin

9:30-11:00 Session I: Culture, Religion and the Liberal State
The American state is putatively a secular, liberal democracy, yet for much of American history numerous groups—often the majority of citizens—have considered the United States a Christian or, more particularly, a Protestant nation. This panel examines current aspects of the tension between operating in a state grounded on liberal principles that also tolerates —indeed, may encourage—religious critiques of those very principles.

Chair: Mary Layoun, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin

James E. Block, Department of Political Science, DePaul University
"Modern Exemplar or Universalist Fallacy: Assessing Liberalism's Quest to Excise the Theological"

Lenn Goodman, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University.
"Naked in the Public Square: Depth of Commitment in the Liberal State Today"

Elizabeth B. Mensch, Professor of Law, SUNY at Buffalo.
"Some Problems With Liberalism: Or, What I Learned from Saint Augustine About Markets"

David Skeel, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
"When Gambling and Markets Converge: Making Sense of a Protestant Evangelical Puzzle"

11:00 Break for Lunch

[Lunch for panelists and invited guests in the Clark Smith Room, 1820 Van Hise]

Location: Godfrey & Kahn Hall (Law School room 2260)

1:30-3:00 Session II: Theology and Justice
Jews, Christians and Muslims share a common religious heritage, yet their theological traditions have conceptualized law—religious and secular —differently, which has affected how states governed by these people have implemented it. This panel examines how the "Abrahamic" traditions have defined "justice" and, by way of deepening the comparison, interposes a Buddhist example.

Chair: Judith Kornblatt, Professor of Slavic Languages, University of Wisconsin

Islam/Middle East – Michael A. Cook, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton.  "Is Shari'a Y2K Compliant? A Historical Perspective"

Buddhism – Charles Hallisey, Associate Professor, UW Department of Languages & Cultures of Asia. "The Problem of Justice for All: Buddhism, Civil Society, and the State in Sri Lanka"

Christianity – John Milbank, University of Virginia, Department of Religious Studies. "Materialism and Transcendence"

Judaism – David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto "Shall the Judge of the earth not do justice?"

3:00-3:30 Refreshment Break in Law School Atrium

3:30-5:00 Session III: Religion and the Academy
Far from their nineteenth-century exemplars, which were governed (literally) by Protestantism, modern institutions of higher education have, for the most part, divorced themselves from teaching theology (though many have faculties in religious studies). Recently, some critics have averred that the absence of religion from the academy is itself a sort of religious persecution on the part of a "secular religion" that has no intention of allowing theological opinions free sway on campus. Put another way, such critics argue that the liberal academy is not "value-neutral" but in fact discriminates against religious scholarship. This panel examines to what degree self-conscious theological discourses may be appropriate and even salutary in the modern university.

Chair: Simone A. Schweber, Goodman Assistant Professor of Education and Jewish Studies, UW-Madison

Arnold M. Eisen, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and Religion, Stanford University. "Theology, Judaism and the Vocation of the University"

Bernard M. Levinson, Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Studies, University of Minnesota "Recovering a Missing Voice: the Role of Academic Religious Studies in the Current Debate"

Regina Schwartz, Professor of English, Northwestern University . "Biblical Theology and the Justice"

5:00 Closing Commentary:  David Weisstub, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal.

5:30-6:30 Reception in Law School Atrium
[Buffet dinner for panelists and invited guests in Lubar Commons. Bill Wineke will deliver the keynote address.


8:30-9:00 Continental breakfast in Law School Atrium
Panel Sessions in Godfrey & Kahn Hall (Law School room 2260)

9:00-10:30 Session IV: Theology and Constitutionalism
In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson justified human freedoms on religious grounds: humans are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The Constitution of the United States, however, seeks no such rationale. This panel investigates to what extent theological assumptions have entered into American constitutionalism.

Chair: Alan J. Weisbard, Associate Professor of Law, Medical Ethics, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin

Ann Althouse, Robert W. & Irma M. Arthur-Bascom Professor, UW Law School. "Traces of the Divine in American Constitutional Discourse: 'Right Reason' and 'the Brooding Omnipresence in the Sky'"

Lobsang Sangay, East Asian Legal Studies Center, Harvard University. "The Dalai Lama and the Constitution(s) of Tibetan Diaspora"

Aviam Soifer, Professor of Law and former Dean, Boston College Law School. "Descending from the Apex: A Double-Edged Neutrality Trap Exemplified By Recent U.S. Supreme Court Education Cases"

10:30-11:00 Refreshment Break in Atrium

11:00-12:30 Session V: Theology and Sovereignty
Liberal states ordinarily decry theological rationales for state decision-making and citizen participation, but some nation-states allow theology a greater role in the public sphere, and, even in liberal states, decision-making may unconsciously call upon inherited theological foundations. This panel examines such questions as "to what extent are basic questions of power, representation, sovereignty and justice necessarily theological," and "to what extent notions of citizenship call upon inchoate or embedded theological forms?"

Chair: Jane Larson, Professor of Law, UW Law School

Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor, University of Chicago Divinity School. "Civic Discourse and the Burden on Religion"

Islam – Ayesha Jalal, MacArthur Fellow and Professor of History, Tufts University. "Theology and Sovereignty in South Asian Islam"

Christianity – Carl J. Rasmussen, Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field, Madison. "The Theology of Sovereignty: A Christian View"

Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University. "A Theological Defense of the Liberal Democratic State: Abraham Kuyper"

12:30 Adjourn for Lunch

12:45-2:00 Lunch for panelists & invited guests in Lubar Commons.

2:15-3:45 Session VI: Theology and Statehood
The global political order contains states whose jurisprudential and policy-making functions are greatly influenced by religious groups and their theologies. This session compares a Jewish state (Israel), a nominally Christian state (South Africa), an Islamic state (Iran), and a diasporic Buddhist state (Tibet).

Chair: R. Booth Fowler, Herbert and Evelyn Howe Professor of Integrated Liberal Studies and UW Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

Tibet – John Dunne, Assistant Professor, UW Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia. [title tba]

South Africa – Heinz Klug, Associate Professor of Law, UW Law School. "In humble submission to Almighty God,
We, the people of South Africa declare . . "

Iran – Roy Mottahedeh, Gurney Professor of History, Harvard University. [title tba]

Israel – Aviezer Ravitzky, Sol Rosenbloom Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Institute of Jewish Studies, Hebrew University. "A Jewish and Democratic State: A Normative Perspective"

3:45-4:00 Closing Remarks by Leonard V. Kaplan, Mortimer M. Jackson Professor of Law and Co-Director, Project for Law and the Humanities, UW Law School

4:00 Adjourn

Edgewood College will host a dinner for panelists and invited guests at which Professor Stephen Toulmin will deliver the keynote address.

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