Michael McConnell, “Tradition and the Constitution”

Here is a story with some details of the Center’s Tradition Project conference last week-end, which also links to pictures of the event and various recent reflections by conference participants.

And here is Professor Michael McConnell’s lecture, “Tradition and the Constitution”:

Dunn, “The Catholic Church and Soviet Russia, 1917-39”

In November, Routledge will release “The Catholic Church and Soviet Russia, 1917-39,” by Dennis Dunn (Texas State University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book, based on extensive research including in the Russian and Vatican archives, charts the development of relations between the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union routledge-logofrom the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the death of Pope Pius XI in 1939. It provides background information on the animosity between the Orthodox and Catholic churches and moves towards reconciliation between them, discusses Soviet initiatives to eradicate religion in the Soviet Union and spread atheist international communism throughout the world, and explores the Catholic Church’s attempts to survive in the face of persecution within the Soviet Union and extend itself. Throughout the book reveals much new detail on the complex interaction between these two opposing bodies and their respective ideologies.

Justice and Macleod, “Have a Little Faith”

In November, the University of Chicago Press will release “Have a Little Faith: Religion, Democracy, and the American Public School,” by Benjamin Justice (Rutgers Graduate School of Education) and Colin Macleod (University of Victoria). The publisher’s description follows:

It isn’t just in recent arguments over the teaching of intelligent design or reciting the pledge of allegiance that religion and education have butted heads: since their 9780226400457.jpgbeginnings nearly two centuries ago, public schools have been embroiled in heated controversies over religion’s place  in the education system of a pluralistic nation. In this book, Benjamin Justice and Colin Macleod take up this rich and significant history of conflict with renewed clarity and astonishing breadth. Moving from the American Revolution to the present—from the common schools of the nineteenth century to the charter schools of the twenty-first—they offer one of the most comprehensive assessments of religion and education in America that has ever been published.

From Bible readings and school prayer to teaching evolution and cultivating religious tolerance, Justice and Macleod consider the key issues and colorful characters that have shaped the way American schools have attempted to negotiate religious pluralism in a politically legitimate fashion. While schools and educational policies have not always advanced tolerance and understanding, Justice and Macleod point to the many efforts Americans have made to find a place for religion in public schools that both acknowledges the importance of faith to so many citizens and respects democratic ideals that insist upon a reasonable separation of church and state. Finally, they apply the lessons of history and political philosophy to an analysis of three critical areas of religious controversy in public education today: student-led religious observances in extracurricular activities, the tensions between freedom of expression and the need for inclusive environments, and the shift from democratic control of schools to loosely regulated charter and voucher programs.

Altogether Justice and Macleod show how the interpretation of educational history through the lens of contemporary democratic theory offers both a richer understanding of past disputes and new ways of addressing contemporary challenges.

Call for Papers – Conference on Public Life and Religious Diversity (Nov. 2016)

The Department of Politics and International Relations and Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford have issued a call for papers for an upcoming conference.  Proposals are due November 30, 2016.  The conference itself will be held on September 7-9, 2017.

From the conference organizers:

We invite proposals for presentations in the following panel sessions:

Andrew March, chair: Private and public ethics. Possible topics include: controversies about forms of establishment, the limits of legislation, exemptions for economic, cultural, and social institutions.

Stephen Macedo, chair: Religious diversity and education. Possible topics include: controversies about separation and integration in education, curriculum debates, the nature and limits of public authority, and student and parental freedom.

Lisa Fishbayn and Sylvia Neil, chair and discussant: Gender, sexuality and religion. Possible topics include: controversies over reproductive rights, marriage, sexual culture, religious feminisms, religious justifications of discrimination.

Jocelyn Maclure, chair: Accommodation of religious diversity in democratic polities. Possible topics include: religion as justification of legislation, exemptions, legal recognition; questions of democratic majoritarianism.

We also welcome proposals for papers that aim to explore new research avenues related to religious diversity and public life. Possible topics include: the ethics and politics of interfaith relations; concepts of religious moderation, extremism, fundamentalism, radicalization; public ethics in contexts of antagonism or separation.

Please send us:

A proposal of about 300 words including title, prepared for blind review

A separate document including your name, paper title, your institutional affiliation, and full contact details.

Further details are available here. (H/T: Rick Garnett)