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Freedom of—or from—Religion: Understanding the Separation of Church and State

The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion has a long history of interpretation, with implications and consequences ranging far and wide. School prayer, the rights of religious minorities and dissenters, and government funding for private schools are just a few of the issues that spark First Amendment debate.

National experts will explore Freedom of—or from—Religion: Understanding the Separation of Church and State, at Duquesne University’s third annual Faith and Politics Symposium on Thursday, Sept. 20.

“Past, present and future controversies concerning the ‘wall of separation’ between church and state raise provocative questions and promote discussion that affects so many issues. These controversies really cut across the political and religious spectrum,” said Dr. Albert C. Labriola, acting dean of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

The symposium’s four featured speakers, who have published extensively and whose voices are deemed influential on this topic, will address the following:

  • Bishop Thomas J. Curry, bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Calif.
       The Wall of Separation After Sixty Years
       9:15 to 10:30 a.m.
  • John L. Allen, Jr., journalist, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and Vatican analyst for CNN and NPR
       Megatrends in Catholicism and Church/State Relations in the 21st Century
       10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Daniel L. Dreisbach, professor, department of justice, law and society, American University School of Public Affairs
       The Promises and Perils of a Wall of Separation
       1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
  • Frank S. Ravitch, professor, Michigan State University College of Law
       Faith, Politics and the Courts: Getting Beyond the Illusions of Original Intent and Neutrality
       3 to 4:15 p.m.

Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Free and open to the public, Freedom of—or from—Religion: Understanding the Separation of Church and State is sponsored by the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. The symposium is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Duquesne Room of the Duquesne Union. Registration is required as space is limited.  For details and to register, visit www.faithandpolitics.duq.edu, e-mail faithandpolitics@duq.edu or call 412.396.6388.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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