Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and Reasonableness of Faith
In this session we will critically examine how and why courts, legal scholars, and other powerful actors in public life often describe the conservative positions on social issues as “religious” and the liberal ones as “secular,” implying that only the latter can be deliverances of “reason.” We will pay particular attention to controversies concerning the sanctity of human life, marriage, religious liberty, and the place of God in public life. We will also take a look at the shift in our culture from political liberalism to hegemonic liberalism, which has resulted in challenges to religious liberty in such cases as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado (2018). The title of this session is taken from the speaker’s book, published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press. It was the winner of the prestigious American Academy of Religion’s 2016 Book Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of Constructive-Reflective Studies.