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 that produces and delivers expert analysis to the broader community of digital consumers: citizens, scholars, lawyers, clergy, journalists, policy makers, and more.

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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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Virtual Conference

Virtual Conference

Twenty-five leading scholars offer 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.

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“Defiant Congregations in a Pandemic: Public Safety Precedes Religious Rights” by Robin Fretwell Wilson, Brian A. Smith, and Tanner J. Bean

Families across America are running for cover from COVID-19. And for good reason: as of today, the United States has over 15,000 confirmed cases. More than 200 Americans are dead. One of us, who leads a task force on COVID-19, has been told that absent responsible prevention, a coming tsunami of patients will overwhelm our healthcare

“Civil Partnerships and the Church of England” by Christopher Grout

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) was described by the then Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice as an “important and groundbreaking piece of legislation,” as well as “the greatest advance towards equality for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people for many years.” While characterized as “totally distinct from marriage,” the legislation

“Selling Religious Cures and Other First Amendment Pitfalls in the Age of Coronavirus” by Shlomo Pill

Challenging times can bring out the very best in people, but these times also seem to prompt far less commendable actions by others. There are always those happy and eager to take advantage of a crisis, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Alongside stories of generosity and courage, there are reports of price

“Becoming Black and Christian in Virginia” by Ariela Gross and Alejandro de le Fuente

This article is adapted from the authors’ forthcoming book: Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana (2020) from Cambridge University Press. By the time the English settled Virginia in the early seventeenth century, the enslavement of Africans had already spread across the New World. Yet the Virginia colonists lacked the

“Religious Racism: An Overlooked Form of Anti-Black Prejudice” by Danielle Boaz

Last August, DECRADI (a specialized police force in Rio de Janeiro that handles crimes of religious and racial intolerance) announced that since the beginning of 2019, Evangelized drug traffickers had threatened, invaded, deprecated or completely destroyed at least 200 hundred Afro-Brazilian religious temples (“terreiros”). In one March 2019 incident, for example, traffickers jumped over the

“Why Does the Catholic Church Insist on Celibacy?” by Rafael Domingo

An earlier Spanish-language version of this essay was recently published on CNN en Español. Recently, the Catholic Church has begun an internal conversation about ordaining married men as priests. This move would mark a significant change from what has been the settled policy of the Latin Church for a thousand years, under which priests are

“Public Rhetoric, Human Nature, and Human Rights” by Mathew D. Garcia Scruggs

Natural law and human rights language is directly connected to discussions about human nature. Public rhetoric describing specific communities often shapes our discussions about the way natural law and human rights are applied to those communities. Given the current U.S. presidential administration’s public rhetoric about Latinx and undocumented communities, it is important to examine the

“Teshuva: A Look at Repentance, Forgiveness, and Atonement in Jewish Law and Philosophy and American Legal Thought” by Samuel J. Levine

This essay is excerpted from Samuel J. Levine, Teshuva: A Look at Repentance, Forgiveness and Atonement in Jewish Law and Philosophy and American Legal Thought, 27 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1677 (2000), reprinted in 2 Samuel J. Levine, Jewish Law and American Law: A Comparative Study 205 (2018). Introduction In his contribution to an important UCLA Law

“Acknowledging the Moral Courage of Refugees and Responding in Kind” by Jason Grubbs

During a speech at the United Nations on September 23, 2019, President Trump stated that “protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities.”  This claim, however, has some advocates of threatened religious minorities crying foul. They argue that Trump has not made good on his promise, citing his ever-shrinking limit on the yearly number