Friday, October 2nd, 2020 11:00AM EST
A virtual conference organized in partnership with Brigham Young University Law School, Emory University Law School, Notre Dame Law School, St. John’s University School of Law, and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.


The purpose of this virtual conference was to provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection on the implications for law and religion in the United States of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic and racial justice crises, from our current perspectives approximately six months into the crisis.

This virtual conference was held October 2nd, 2020 11:00AM EST. Each participant had three minutes to summarize their key argument. The conference was recorded and the video and accompanying essays will be published below (as well as on the sites of co-organizing institutions).

Browse the full video playlist here


Conference Program

A. Constitutional Law (Jane Wise, moderator)

  1. Doriane Coleman, “Religious Exemptions to COVID Vaccine Mandates
  2. Caroline Mala Corbin, “Religious Liberty in a Pandemic: Constitutional Challenges to Mass Gathering Bans
  3. W. Cole Durham, Jr., “Coronavirus, the Compelling State Interest in Health, and Religious Autonomy
  4. Jeffrey Hammond and Michael DeBoer, “Conflicts between Religious Liberty and the New Public Health
  5. Samuel Levine, “Hands-Off Religion in the Early Months of COVID-19

B. Law, Religion, and Culture (Justin Latterell, moderator)

  1. Robin Fretwell Wilson, “Respecting the Needs of Worshippers is Essential to Containing COVID-19
  2. Kathleen Brady, “COVID-19 and Restrictions on Religious Institutions: Constitutional Implications
  3. Angela Carmella, “Commemorating Lives Lost in Times of Pandemic and Protest
  4. Andrew Lewis and Daniel Bennett, “Church Closures, Religious Freedom, and the Coronavirus Pandemic: Assessing the Christian Legal Movement’s Response
  5. E. Isabel Park, “Worldview and Spirituality: Outlooks of the Church and Individual Shaped by Crisis
  6. Joanna Smith, “Slaughterhouses as Sites of Exception

C. Legal and Religious Practice(s) (Michael Moreland, moderator)

  1. Matthew Cavedon, “Attention: Physical Presence for Court and the Catholic Church
  2. Patrick Hornbeck, “Revival Statutes, Clergy Sexual Abuse, and COVID-19
  3. Dwight Newman, “When the State Tells You How to Run Your Church Service: Analyzing Coronavirus Guidance Documents on Religious Services
  4. Daniela Tarantino, “The ‘Drive Confession:’ The Care of Souls in a Pandemic
  5. Alejandro González-Varas Ibáňez, “Law, Religion, and Coronavirus between the United States and the European Union

D. Religious Organizations (Mark Movsesian, moderator)

  1. Mary Anne Case, “COVID and Egalitarian Catholic Women’s Movements
  2. Christopher Lund, “Quarantines, Religious Groups, and Some Questions About Equality
  3. Adelaide Madera, “The Impact of Coronavirus on Public Funding of Religious Organizations
  4. Zachary Pohlman, “’Churches’ in a Time of Coronavirus

E. Theological Implications/Reflections (Stephanie Barclay, moderator)

  1. Paul Marshall, “Political Theology and Church Restrictions
  2. Terri Montague, “Redeeming Justice
  3. Brett G. Scharffs, “The COVID Crisis as a Crisis of Trust
  4. Anton Sorkin, “Christian Public Engagement in a Time of Crisis
  5. George Walters-Sleyon, “Through the Eyes of James Cone: COVID-19, Police Brutality, and The Black Church

Organized in partnership with:

International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Brigham Young University Law School

Center for the Study of Law and Religion
Emory University Law School

Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society
Notre Dame Law School

Center for Law and Religion
St. John’s University School of Law

Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law