CSLR Talks make innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship accessible to the public. Canopy Forum provides opportunities for emerging and established scholars in the field(s) of law and religion, broadly defined, to present their research in a TED-talk style format. Browse our talks below, or watch them all on YouTube.
Pathways to Gender Equality: Religion-state Relationships and Women’s Rights
In this talk, Randleman analyzes whether the level of commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) influences effectiveness in increasing global women’s rights and how the relationship between religion and the state may limit the realization of women’s rights. Ultimately, she shows how a greater level of commitment to CEDAW has a positive impact on the realization of women’s rights but that a strong relationship between religion and the state negatively impacts the realization of women’s rights.
The Religion of Race: America’s First Religion
Dr. Audra L. Savage, SJD
Racism is the lingering effect of the American holocaust of slavery. In this talk, Savage argues that the reason for the persistence of racism is embedded in the founding of America. By compromising on the issue of slavery, the Founding Fathers established a national civil religion based on racism. In the Religion of Race, whiteness is sacred and blackness is profane. The Constitution is the sacred text divined by the Supreme Court, who uses the ritual of Law to perpetuate this religion. The only way to move the country forward and end racial injustice against Black Americans is for a true reformation that sacrifices white privilege in order to reestablish the natural law rights of Black people.
America First, Border Walls, and Muslim Bans: A Place Based Approach to National Identity
The surge of white nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetoric during the Trump presidency can be explained through a “place-based” analysis. The reification of American identity by bolstering borders and restricting the means of legitimate entry is a result of changing notions of what constitutes the American “space” in an era of increasing globalization. The growth of fervent white nationalism is an attempt to reverse the perceived shrinking of this American space in an ever more crowded globalizing world.
Taxation and Redistribution: What the Christian Tradition Can Teach Us
Dr. Allen Calhoun
Is taxation an instrument of justice or simply a source of revenue? The contemporary American tax discussion vacillates between these two views. In this talk, Calhoun argues that taxation is uniquely positioned to balance competing considerations, such as equity and efficiency, and that this role comes from the Christian tradition.
Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Wiccans and Others are Demanding their Place in American Public Life
Professor Jay Wexler
In the past two decades, the Supreme Court has largely torn down the wall separating church and state, allowing Christians to display monuments on public property, apply for public funds, and pray before town meetings. At the same time, though, the United States has become more religiously diverse, with a particular increase in the number of people who identify as having no religion. In this talk, Wexler describes how religious minorities, including atheists, have been demanding to take part in public life alongside Christians and argues that this is a trend that should be celebrated and continued.