John Witte, Jr.
Director, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University
International House Auditorium — 2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley
About The Lecture
Professor Witte’s lecture will explore a hard new issue of religious freedom and family law that is now confronting many Western democracies: to what extent may Islamic and other religious communities have the freedom to develop their own internal religious laws to govern the sex, marriage, and family lives of their voluntary faithful. This volatile issue, Witte says, “has just exploded in Europe, and is about to explode in North America. If the West does not deal with this issue responsibly — especially as it affects the diverse Muslim communities in our midst — the so called Danish cartoon crisis will soon seem like child’s play.”
About John Witte, Jr.
John Witte, Jr. is a specialist in legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty. A prolific writer, Witte has published 180 articles, 13 journal symposia, and 25 books (translated into ten languages). His publications include four recent titles from Cambridge University Press: The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (2007); Christianity and Law (2008);The Sins of the Fathers: The Law and Theology of Illegimacy Reconsidered(2009); and Christianity and Human Rights (2010). He currently edits two major book series, “Studies in Law and Religion,” and “Religion, Marriage, and Family.” With major funding from the Pew, Ford, Lilly, Luce, and McDonald foundations, Witte has directed 12 major international projects on democracy, human rights, and religious liberty, and on marriage, family, and children. These projects have collectively yielded more than 160 new volumes and 250 public forums around the world. Witte is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Service Professor at Emory University. He also serves as director of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, the leading scholarly center on this topic, involving 95 Emory faculty and 1,600 scholars from around the world.