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Daniel McCarthy In this episode, Center Director Mark Movsesian interviews journalist Daniel McCarthy on his recent essay in Modern Age, “The Other Nones.” Dan argues that the decline of traditional Christianity in the West hasn’t led to the age of rationalism and progress that many secularists predicted, but instead to an age of entropy, in which …
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“Measure for Measure” in the First Folio (1623) First performed 400 years ago, William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” addresses an enduring human dilemma. No society can safely exist without law, but law itself depends on human judgment, which is prone to error and corruption. In this episode, Center Director Mark Movsesian and Northwestern La…
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In this episode, Center Director Mark Movsesian interviews historian Richard Brookhiser (left) about his new documentary, “Free Exercise: America’s Story of Religious Liberty.” How have minority religions tested and shaped America’s commitment to religious freedom over the centuries–and how has America changed those religions in return? From the Fl…
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Chick-fil-A Inc. logo (PRNewsFoto/Chick-fil-A) In this episode, we discuss a bill pending in New York that would require future fast food restaurants at rest stops on the State Thruway to open seven days a week. The bill expressly targets Chick-fil-A, which closes on Sundays in line with the owners’ religious commitments. Does the bill violate Chic…
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Speaker Mike Johnson on CNBC last month In a TV interview last month, House Speaker Mike Johnson raised eyebrows by asserting that Framers welcomed religion in public life and that the Establishment Clause protects religion from the encroachment of government, not the other way around. In this podcast, we show how Johnson was both right and wrong. …
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Recently, many people have been talking about classical law–specifically whether classical law, with its focus on Christian universals and natural law concepts, can make a comeback in American law schools. Will classical law have traction in an academy dominated by positivism, law-and-economics, and critical theories? Would it be a good thing if it…
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A protester calling for justice for Elijah McClain clashes with a member of the Proud Boys in Denver, Colorado, U.S., November 21, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt Welcome back! In our first Legal Spirits episode of the academic year, we interview our friend, law professor Tom Berg (University of St. Thomas) about his new book, Religious Liberty in a Pol…
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In our traditional end-of-term wrap up, Marc and Mark discuss the Supreme Court’s decisions in two cases: Groff v. DeJoy, the Title VII religious accommodations case, and 303 Creative v. Elenis, the website designer case. Were these simple cases masquerading as complicated ones? Do they suggest the Court is rethinking its views on free speech, reli…
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In this episode, Marc and Mark offer some thoughts about the Biden Administration Department of Education’s guidance issued earlier this month (the first since 2020) on prayer and religious expression in public schools. The new guidance largely avoids much discussion of the newest Supreme Court decision on the matter, Kennedy v. Bremerton School Di…
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In this episode, Marc and Mark discuss the background and recent oral argument before the Supreme Court in Groff v. DeJoy, a case about religious accommodation in the workplace under Title VII. The case involves a postal worker who observes Sunday sabbath and who was disciplined by the United States Postal Service after a dispute between the partie…
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In this podcast, Marc and Mark discuss some of the common themes in two books that we recently read and reflected on with our students in the Center’s Reading Society: Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz and Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. The themes include the nature and value of knowledge, the fragmentary…
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Last month, the Center co-sponsored a panel, “The Rise of the Nones and American Law,” featuring Professors Steven Collis (University of Texas), Mark Movsesian (St. John’s) and Gregory Sisk (University of St. Thomas–Minnesota). The panel explored how the explosion in the numbers of the religiously unaffiliated in contemporary America might affect j…
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For our first podcast of 2023, we are delighted to welcome Professor Nicholas Aroney of the University of Queensland Law School, a distinguished constitutional law scholar who has co-edited (with Professor Ian Leigh) a new book just published by Oxford University Press: Christianity and Constitutionalism. Marc and Mark interview him about the book’…
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Last month, a federal court ruled that New York could constitutionally restrict the sale of alcohol when New Year’s falls on a Sunday, as it will this year. In our final podcast of 2022, we discuss this ruling and the Supreme Court’s longstanding view that Sunday alcohol restrictions and closing laws do not violate the Establishment Clause. How has…
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Next week, the Supreme Court will hear argument in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, an important case that pits free speech rights against anti-discrimination laws. A Christian web designer has challenged Colorado’s public accommodations law, arguing that the law will require her to design sites for same-sex weddings and convey messages with which she d…
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In this episode, Mark interviews Marc about his new article, “Traditionalism Rising,” on an important, emerging method of constitutional interpretation embraced by the Supreme Court across the domains of constitutional law, including in law and religion, and especially so in the most recent term. Marc explains some of the basics of the method, whic…
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In this episode, Marc interviews Mark about his new article, “The New Thoreaus,” on the rise of the Nones and its impact on free-exercise law. Fifty years ago, in Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court famously dismissed the idea that a solitary seeker–the Court gave the 19th Century Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau as an example–could qualify …
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The October 2021 term has ended with a bang. In this episode, we discuss the Court’s rulings in two significant church-and-state cases: Carson v. Makin, the Maine school funding case, and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the case of the football coach who prayed at the 50-yard line. We explain how the Court ruled in these cases, why the cases …
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In this episode of Legal Spirits, Center Co-Directors Mark Movsesian and Marc DeGirolami explore C.S. Lewis’s great essay on the calling of the Christian scholar, “Learning in War-Time.” Lewis wrote the essay at the start of World War II, but it continues to speak to students and faculty today–Christian and non-Christian. As Lewis observes, “human …
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Boston City Hall (Brutalist architecture) In this episode, Center Co-Directors Marc DeGirolami and Mark Movsesian explore another law and religion case recently argued at the Supreme Court, Shurtleff v. City of Boston, concerning whether a municipality can decline a private group’s request to fly a religious flag on a city hall flagpole pursuant to…
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