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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Reflecting on COVID-19

Reflecting on COVID-19

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Canopy Forum continues our commitment to produce expert analysis for the broader community of digital consumers: citizens, scholars, lawyers, clergy, journalists, policy makers, and more. We've collected our recent content reflecting on the current public health crisis.

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“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

“Religious Literacy and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue (Part 3)” by Shlomo C. Pill

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, United States, 1893. Wikimedia. Part three of this series on interfaith dialogue focuses on religious literacy. Religious illiteracy is a widespread phenomenon and can seriously hamper attempts to engage in at least some forms of interfaith dialogue.  Notably, this problem is not exclusively one of interfaith illiteracy as many

“Law, Justice, Mercy, and Forgiveness from a Catholic Perspective” by Robert Fastiggi

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash From a Catholic perspective, law, justice, mercy, and forgiveness ultimately converge in God, who is the ultimate source of law and combines justice, mercy, and forgiveness in his dealings with human beings. The classic Catholic definition of law comes from Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274) who said that law “is nothing else than

“Religious Literacy and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue (Part 2)” by Shlomo C. Pill

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, United States, 1893. Wikimedia. Part two of this three-part series on interfaith dialogue explains several different forms of interfaith dialogue, highlighting some of the benefits and limitations of each, and explores the relevance of religious and interfaith literacy as an important tool for effective interfaith dialogue. [Read Part I here]

“Religious Literacy and the Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue (Part 1)” by Shlomo C. Pill

This is the first part of a three-part series exploring some of the methods, possibilities, and skills needed to effectively engage in interfaith dialogue and activity. History of Interfaith Engagement Interfaith engagement is hardly a new phenomenon. The most basic kind of interfaith activity—what is often referred to as “the dialogue of everyday life”—has been

“Judgment and Forgiveness in Texas: The Amber Guyger Case through the Lens of Islamic Law” by Hassaan Shahawy

Amber Guyger, a white police officer, mistakenly entered the home of Botham Jean, a black man, and shot him dead. Months later, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of murder. Some celebrated the rare verdict, while others protested that Guyger’s 10-year sentence was too lenient. However, the case became even more controversial for two unconventional courtroom

“Jewish Justice: Guyger, Forgiveness, and Christian Love” by Michael J. Broyde

Nathan S. Chapman asks the right question: “How can justice and forgiveness co-exist?” This problem is one to which the Jewish tradition has offered at least three different answers. None of these responses, however, focus on the deeply Christian idea of God’s love for us.  On Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement, when according to rabbinic teachings Jews