Welcome to Canopy Forum!

Welcome to Canopy Forum!

Canopy Forum is a digital publication from the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. Our contributors deliver expert analysis on important issues of law and religion around the world.

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Video Archive

Video Archive

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University holds conferences and events that draw thousands of participants from the far corners of the world. Explore recorded versions of our esteemed speakers here!

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Martyrs, Minorities, Faith and Fidelity

Martyrs, Minorities, Faith and Fidelity

Coming in January 2022, this online course by Professor Mona Siddiqui explores the polyvalent meanings of ‘loyalty’ in Christian and Islamic thought.

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“Why This Supreme Court Should Overrule Employment Division v. Smith” by Raphael A. Friedman

For several decades, parties asserting religious liberty claims under the Free Exercise Clause saw little success at the Supreme Court. Over the past few years, however, religious groups have fared better. Recently, they prevailed in cases challenging various restrictions imposed on houses of worship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And in June, the Court ruled

“Ramirez v. Collier: Will the Supreme Court Expand the Right to the Presence of a Spiritual Advisor for Prisoners During Execution?” by Peter Wosnik

In September 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a rare, eleventh-hour stay in an execution case for prisoner John Ramirez. Ramirez was convicted of stabbing a man to death during a robbery that occurred in 2004. As critics have pointed out, the Supreme Court has been “unreceptive” to the majority of death penalty appeals as

“Christianity and the International Criminal Court” by Johan Van der Vyver

In 2021, Johan D. van der Vyver, I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the Emory University School of Law, published a three-volume treatise on international criminal law. Volume One deals with The History and Structures of the International Criminal Court; Volume Two is devoted to Crimes within the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court; and Volume Three outlines The Functioning

“#Abortion: The Religious Right Meets TikTok” by Rachel Wagner

Given the centrality and heatedness of the abortion debate in the U.S. political sphere, it might seem as though abortion has always been a rallying cry for religious conservatives. But as Sarah Posner describes in her book Unholy, despite abortion’s contemporary significance, other evangelical grudges emerged “long before” abortion became a key issue. Conservative evangelicals

“Why the History of English Law Has Been Neglected” by Russell Sandberg

Legal historians have regularly regretted what they perceive to be the side-lining of their subject. Writing almost a decade ago, Daniel Siemens noted that “one gets the impression that legal history is slowly and inevitably dying — or that it has been in a coma for the last 30 years, at least” (“Towards a New Cultural History

“The First Word: To Be Human is to be Free” by Desmond M. Tutu

We at Canopy Forum join the world in lamenting the recent death and celebrating the remarkable life of Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. The following text is based on a keynote lecture that Archbishop Tutu offered to conclude the international conference on “Christianity and Democracy in Global Context,” November 11-14, 1991, convened by the Center for the Study

“Why Secular Society Desperately Needs the Recognition of Religious Holidays” by Bruce Ledewitz

It is the common and traditional view that disputes over the recognition of religious holidays — disputes over creches and menorahs on public property, for example — are a clash between religious and secular citizens over the meaning of the Establishment Clause in the Constitution. But this is an outdated viewpoint, for two reasons. First,

“Halloween in Jewish Law: Religious and Cultural Transformation” by Michael J. Broyde

A number of years ago, I wrote an article addressing celebrating Thanksgiving according to Jewish law, which was published in Canopy Forum last year. In that article, I noted that most Jewish law authorities accept that: (1) Thanksgiving is an American holiday with secular origins, (2) While some people might celebrate Thanksgiving with religious rituals, this

“Locke, Toleration and Political Participation – A New Manuscript” by Craig Walmsley

A manuscript by the philosopher John Locke recently discovered in North Carolina raises fundamental questions of political participation. John Locke’s influence on the Founding Fathers in their formulation of the U.S. Constitution is well-known. It was Locke who argued, in the 1689 Two Treatises of Government, that government depends upon the consent of the governed.