Over at the Mirror of Justice, Lisa Schiltz offers a brief recap of the Religiously Affiliated Law Schools conference that began yesterday and is continuing today, and which Mark attended. Though I did not attend the conference, and so did not hear the exchange that she describes, this statement about a claim by Professor Michael Broyde caught my eye:
Michael Broyde from the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory sparked some friendly fireworks with his provocative claim that law and religion institutes at religiously-affiliated schools are necessarily compromised in their ability to engage in an intellectually honest pursuit of truth[.]
The idea of a scholar, or a scholarly center, being “compromised” because of the religious affiliation of the home institution is an interesting one and I want to explore it here. Because I did not hear Professor Broyde myself, I will rely on Lisa’s report of his remarks — more to think through some of these issues than to attack anything he said specifically.
I can think of three ways in which an academic institution or the scholar working in it may be “compromised” in the “intellectually honest pursuit of truth” by a religious affiliation. Let’s take them one at a time.