The Wheatley Institution

The Nature and Basis of Religious Freedom | Robert P. George

March 24, 2016 at 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

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This Distinguished Lecture in Civic Virtue will be delivered by Robert P. George of Princeton University. The lecture "The Nature and Basis of Religious Freedom," will take place on Thursday, March 24th at 7:30pm in the Hinckley Center's Assembly Hall at Brigham Young University.


Is there a rational ground for believing in a right to religious liberty? This lecture will explore the question, setting out reasons for believing that religious freedom is a genuine human right. It is not merely the product of a social contract. Controversially, Professor George will argue that the right to religious freedom is grounded in the value of religion, understood in a particular way, as an aspect of human well-being and flourishing.

About the Lecturer

Professor George holds Princeton's celebrated McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), of which he continues to be a corresponding member. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis, Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, and co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, and Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is and Why It Matters. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics. Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton's Department of Politics. He has given honorific lectures at Harvard, Yale, University of St. Andrews, and Cornell University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, divinity, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he also received a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.


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