Our friend, Paul Horwitz, has just published his essay, The Hobby Lobby Moment, in the latest issue of the Harvard Law Review. The piece is well worth reading and reflecting on. It is written in Paul’s characteristically thoughtful and insightful manner, and it makes many points about the social and cultural context of the case that cut much deeper than most of the commentary on what has been, to put it mildly, a controversial decision. Even on those issues where I see things a little differently than Paul (for example, I am much more skeptical than is Paul about the degree to which there was ever consensus about the good of religious free exercise in the legal academy, and therefore about whether there is any substantial fragmentation of that consensus today), the points he makes are interesting, original, and thought-provoking.
I’ve posted a job announcement forwarded to me by the Becket Fund below. If you are interested in law and religion and the law of religious liberty specifically, this is a terrific opportunity.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty seeks an attorney to join its team of legal counsel advocating for religious liberty for people of all faiths. The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications: (a) one to three years of active litigation experience, preferably in federal court; (b) excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills; and (c) a federal or state appellate clerkship.
Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to Elizabeth Dobak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This January, University of North Carolina Press will release “For God, King, and People: Forging Commonwealth Bonds in Renaissance Virginia” by Alexander B. Haskell (University of California). The publisher’s description follows:
By recovering a largely forgotten English Renaissance mindset that regarded sovereignty and Providence as being fundamentally entwined, Alexander Haskell reconnects concepts historians had before treated as separate categories and argues that the first English planters in Virginia operated within a deeply providential age rather than an era of early modern entrepreneurialism. These men did not merely settle Virginia; they and their London-based sponsors saw this first successful English venture in America as an exercise in divinely inspired and approved commonwealth creation. When the realities of Virginia complicated this humanist ideal, growing disillusionment and contention marked debates over the colony.
Rather than just “selling” colonization to the realm, proponents instead needed to overcome profound and recurring doubts about whether God wanted English rule to cross the Atlantic and the process by which it was to happen. By contextualizing these debates within a late Renaissance phase in England, Haskell links increasing religious skepticism to the rise of decidedly secular conceptions of state power. Haskell offers a radical revision of accepted narratives of early modern state formation, locating it as an outcome, rather than as an antecedent, of colonial endeavor.
This January, Routledge Press will release “The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development” by Emma Tomalin (University of Leeds, UK). The publisher’s description follows:
This Handbook provides a cutting-edge survey of the state of research on religions and global development. Part one highlights critical debates that have emerged within research on religions and development, particularly with respect to theoretical, conceptual and methodological considerations, from the perspective of development studies and its associated disciplines. Parts two to six look at different regional and national development contexts and the place of religion within these. These parts integrate and examine the critical debates raised in part one within empirical case studies from a range of religions and regions. Different religions are situated within actual locations and case studies thus allowing a detailed and contextual understanding of their relationships to development to emerge. Part seven examines the links between some important areas within development policy and practice where religion is now being considered, including:
- Faith-Based Organisations and Development
- Public Health, Religion and Development
- Human rights, Religion and Development
- Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Religion
- Global Institutions and Religious Engagement in Development
- Economic Development and Religion
- Religion, Development and Fragile States
- Development and Faith-Based Education
Taking a global approach, the Handbook covers Africa, Latin America, South Asia, East/South-East Asia and the Middle East. It is essential reading for students and researchers in development studies and religious studies, and is highly relevant to those working in a range of disciplines, from theology, anthropology, and economics, to geography, international relations, politics, sociology, area studies and development studies.