Category Archives: 2016-2017

“Institutional or Individual: What is Religious Freedom in the United States Today?” Prof Leslie C. Griffin (March 8, 2017)

March 8, 2017

“Institutional or Individual: What is Religious Freedom in the United States Today?”

Professor Leslie C. Griffin (UNLV)
12:30pm to 2:00pm, Room 2027, Osgoode Hall Law School

RSVP Required: www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp

This paper will argue that the U.S. government has usually interpreted religious freedom to protect institutions and frequently ignored the interests of religious individuals. Interpreting the Free Exercise Clause to protect religious institutions’ rights against their members ignores the experience of the earliest Americans. Allowing the courts to enforce a rule that automatically favors religious institutions over their members is at odds with the early history of liberty of conscience.

This talk will look at two examples of the courts privileging institutions over individuals. First, the ministerial exception allows church employees’ claims against their employers to be dismissed without lawsuit. Second, RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) permits religious employers to deny full health insurance coverage to their employees.  The talk then explores the alternative, individual approach to law and religion, which the courts should favor in the future.

Leslie C. Griffin is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. She
holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. The fourth edition of her textbook, Law and Religion: Cases and Material, was published recently by Foundation Press. It is described at http://www.griffinlawandreligion.com/.

 

In collaboration with:

RPS Master 01 2012-09-20 transparent background[1]

 

 

 

Watch the lecture:

“Buddhism, Constitutionalism and the Limits of Law” – Dr. Ben Schonthal (October 5, 2016)

Nov2
October 5, 2016

“Buddhism, Constitutionalism and the Limits of Law”

Dr. Benjamin Schonthal (University of Otago)
12:30pm to 2:00pm, Room 2027, Osgoode Hall Law School

RSVP Required: www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp

Like approximately half of the world’s basic laws, Sri Lanka’s constitution gives preferential status to the country’s majority religion, Buddhism. While this arrangement seems to place public law in the service of Buddhism, what have been the actual, legal effects on the lives of individual Buddhists? This talk considers this question and uses Sri Lanka as a case study for thinking more broadly about the nature and effects of religious supremacy clauses ins200_ben.schonthal constitutions around the world.

Ben Schonthal is Senior Lecturer in Buddhism and Asian Religions at the University of Otago, in New Zealand. He teaches and writes about the intersections of religion, law and politics in South and Southeast Asia. His first book, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law will appear with Cambridge University Press in October 2016.

Read the talk here:

Schonthal LRST Talk

In collaboration with:

RPS Master 01 2012-09-20 transparent background[1]

UT Study of Religion