While every major international declaration of human rights and most national constitutions enshrine religious freedom, profound shifts in social and cultural conceptions of equality and non-discrimination now risk undermining these basic principles, constraining hard-won historic commitments in Britain and the United States to sustaining the liberal social order that human rights were intended to guarantee.
To mark the tenth anniversary of its founding in 2008, the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics & Public Life, in collaboration with Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion, is assembling a distinguished group of international scholars and practitioners to address the contentious question of religious freedom in trans-Atlantic perspective.
The conference will consider a wide array of topics, including the historical backdrop to contemporary debates, the distinction between religious and conscientious belief, perceived tensions between freedom of religion and rights to equal treatment, and the contested place of religious establishment.
The conference will open with the McDonald Distinguished Scholar Lecture by Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and former United States Ambassador to the Holy See.
A second McDonald Distinguished Scholar Lecture will be delivered by Sir John Laws, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, Privy Counsellor, and Honorary Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge.
The Centre is delighted to announce that other speakers at the conference will include:
• Francis Beckwith, Baylor University
• Nigel Biggar, University of Oxford
• Kathleen Brady, Emory University
• Norman Doe, Cardiff University
• Richard Garnett, University of Notre Dame
• Mark Hill, QC, Inner Temple
• Cécile Laborde, University of Oxford
• Julian Rivers, Bristol University
• Roger Trigg, University of Warwick
• John Witte, Emory University