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Law & Religion Week 2012 to Examine Religion's Place in the Public Square

FEBRUARY 3, 2012—The University of Minnesota Law School and a consortium of law student organizations has named February 27-March 2 "Law & Religion Week," with each day featuring a lunchtime event focusing on the interplay between law and religion. All events except that of Thursday, March 1, will take place at 12:15 p.m. in Room 20 of Mondale Hall, 229 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. All events are open to the public.

Topics of the week's events are:

  • Monday, Feb. 27: "The Moral Responsibilities of Investment Bankers"
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28: "Faith in the Workplace: Praying for Accommodation"
  • Wednesday, Feb. 29: "Sex and Religion in the Law"
  • Thursday, March 1: No event scheduled due to "The Great Gay Marriage Debate," co-hosted by the Federalist Society, Law School Democrats, OutLaw, and St. Thomas More Society, in Room 25 at 12:15 p.m.
  • Friday, March 2: "Religion in the Public Square"

The March 2 culmination of the week's events will feature a panel discussion by former gubernatorial candidate and current chair of the Minnesota Faith & Freedom Coalition Tom Emmer, Executive Director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference Jason Adkins (’06), Hennepin County Attorney Michael O. Freeman (’74), and Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States Farheen Hakeem. Professor Richard Painter will moderate.

In many currently hot issues, both support and opposition are strongly influenced by religious views. Are these views discounted in today's pluralistic and secularizing culture simply because they stem from a proponent's belief about ultimate reality? To what extent are they discounted? To what extent should they be? Are religious views legitimate only if they are also supported by secular arguments?

These are some of the questions the panelists will explore as they reflect on the place for religion in modern civic discourse and public policy making, both in theory and in practice.

Law & Religion Week is the brainchild of the Muslim Law Student Association, Christian Legal Society, Jewish Law Student Association, and St. Thomas More Society.

For more information, contact David Hottinger, chair of the Law & Religion Week Planning Committee, at hott0014@umn.edu or 612-940-2115.