International conference to examine church-state relations

Author: Arts and Letters


Scholars, jurists and advocates from around the world will gather at the University of Notre Dame for an international conference to discuss church-state relations and religious liberties Sept. 22 and 23 (Monday and Tuesday) in McKenna Hall.

The conference provides an opportunity for participants representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, India, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States to engage these complex issues from a truly comparative perspective.

Panelists will consider hypothetical narratives by applying their own constitutional traditions and explore the possibility of convergence across national boundaries. The conference broadens its perspective further with a panel addressing global trends in the jurisprudence of religious liberty.

The conference will conclude with a keynote address Sept. 23 at 4p.m. in the McKenna Hall auditorium. Titled “Protection of Religious Feelings in Liberal Democracies: Reflections on the Experience with the Danish Cartoons,” the address will be delivered by Dieter Grimm, a former justice of the German federal constitutional court. Kenneth Ripple, a judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, will offer a response.

The conference will serve as a tribute to Donald P. Kommers, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame until his recent retirement. He served as a member of the faculty since 1963 and a member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 1976.

The conference is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Law School, Office of Research, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, and Program in American Democracy. More information is available on the Web at .

Contact: Monica Caro, Nanovic Institute

Originally published by Jennifer Lechtanski and
Kathleen McDonnell
at on September 17, 2008.