May 23, 2017 –
In a secular nation, what is the role of religion in matters of policy—this is a fundamental question that deeply divides American society around issues of abortion, marriage equality, euthanasia, display of religious symbols in public spaces, government funding for religious schools, etc. To understand how the framers of the constitution envisaged the separation of church and state, how successive generations have interpreted the religious-secular divide, and how it is likely to play out under the current administration, please join us for an interactive discussion with Professors Sudha Setty and Peter Gottschalk.
Professor Sudha Setty is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Intellectual Life and a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law, in Springfield, MA. She teaches Law and Terrorism, Comparative Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, Business Organizations and Contracts. Her scholarly work focuses on comparative analysis of separation of powers, rule of law and national security issues. Professor Setty’s recently completed book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law, will be published by Cambridge University Press early in 2017.
Prior to joining the faculty of Western New England, Professor Setty was a litigator with the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on antitrust and securities regulation matters. She served as defense counsel in civil, regulatory and criminal matters involving national security issues, including terrorism financing investigations and lawsuits, and a pro bono matter challenging sentencing guidelines for those convicted of terrorist acts. Professor Setty graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia Law School and received her A.B. in History (concentration in comparative civil rights) with honors from Stanford University.
Professor Peter Gottschalk is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University. He received his B.A. in History at the College of the Holy Cross, his M.A. in South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago. Peter’s research and teaching concentrate on the dynamics of cultural interpretation and conflict in the context of Islam, Hindu traditions, and the West.
Peter has most recently completed American Heretics: Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the History of Religious Intolerance (Palgrave). This book explores various moments of antagonism against various religious groups in the United States and explores the dynamics of both intolerance and pluralism. Earlier, Peter collaborated with his former student Gabriel Greenberg in writing Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy (Rowman and Littlefield). This volume demonstrates how Americans have had endemic fears about Islam and Muslims since before the nation’s founding. Using political cartoons, Peter and Gabriel show that despite the different forms Islamophobia has taken in response to shifting social, political, and economic contexts, stereotyped Muslims have served as a foil used to prove American normality.
His books have been reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times, he has appeared on Voice of America, Air America, and National Public Radio, and his work has been mentioned in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and the OnFaith website formerly of The Washington Post.
Co-sponsors: Critical Connections and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
This event is part of the 'Transforming This Moment' series, jointly organized by Critical Connections and the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. This event is made possible through the generous funding of Mass Humanities, whose grants inspire considered thought, conversations, and action.