In January, Rowman & Littlefield will release “The Crisis of Religious Liberty: Reflections from Law, History, and Catholic Social Thought ” edited by Stephen M. Krason (Franciscan University of Steubenville). The publisher’s description follows:
In “The Crisis of Religious Liberty: Reflections from Law, History, and Catholic Social Thought,” contributors consider a series of significant challenges to the freedom of religious conscience and expression in the United States today. Such challenges include the mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concerning contraceptive, sterilization, and abortifacient coverage in health insurance plans; the question of health-care institutions requiring medical personnel to participate in morally objectionable procedures contrary to their religious beliefs; legal liability for individuals and businesses refusing on religious grounds to provide services for same-sex marriages; the prohibition on students from engaging in religious expression in public schools; the use of zoning laws to block Bible studies in private homes; and a variety of other issues that have surfaced in recent years with respect to religious freedom. While some argues that religious liberty extends no further than the freedom to worship, contributors suggest otherwise, noting that the exercise of religious liberty is greater than a highly restrictive definition of the notion of worship.
The Crisis of Religious Liberty comprises eight chapters and an afterword that explore the nature and basis of religious freedom in terms of Catholic social thought. They cover such topics as the Catholic Church’s teachings from the Vatican II’s Dignatis Humanae (Declaration on Religious Liberty), the decline of a historic rapprochement among different religious perspectives in the United States in the face of an increasingly aggressive secularism, perspectives on religious liberty from the founding of America, and how the religious liberty situation in the U.S. compares with the rest of the world.
In January, Cambridge University Press will release “Constitutions and Religious Freedom” by Frank B. Cross (University of Texas, Austin). The publisher’s description follows:
Many of us take for granted the idea that the right to religious freedom should be protected in a free, democratic polity. However, this book challenges whether the protection and privilege of religious belief and identity should be prioritized over any other right. By studying the effects of constitutional promises of religious freedom and establishment clauses, Frank B. Cross sets the stage for a set of empirical questions that examines the consequences of such protections. Although the case for broader protection is often made as a theoretical matter, constitutions generally protect freedom of religion. Allowing people full choice in holding religious beliefs or freedom of conscience is central to their autonomy. Freedom of religion is thus potentially a very valuable aspect of society, at least so long as it respects the freedom of individuals to be irreligious. This book tests these associations and finds that constitutions provide national religious protection, especially when the legal system is more sophisticated.
On November 12, Fordham Law School’s Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work will host a discussion between Fordham Professor Christine Hinze and Susan Whelan, author of “The Scholar and The Housewife.”
In October 2014, Pope Francis convened a Synod of Bishops from around the world to discuss matters related to “the family”, including the high educational and social expectations for adults and children, the impact of long hours and demanding work on the family, economic pressures, wealth and poverty, instilling values, a moral framework and religious beliefs in children, consumerism, careerism and individualism.
Fordham Law School’s Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work continues its focus on the work of Pope Francis with a conversation between Fordham Professor Christine Hinze and author Susan Whelan of the challenges faced by young, highly-educated professionals in achieving success in their public and private lives. In her book The Scholar and The Housewife, Whelan, a lawyer and mother of six children now in their twenties, discusses events and people that have informed her personal and professional choices, sharing insights and guiding principles for living out moral ideals and religious beliefs in a modern world.
Details can be found here.