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Tuesday, March 5 • 14:30 - 16:30
#5/148.1 – Law & Religion: Public theology and natural law

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This panel considers James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies (Desiring the King, Imagining the King, Awaiting the King) and discusses the potential for scholars in Law and Religion to engage with his public theology along the lines of the legal-theological approach as recently suggested by Stefanus Hendrianto in the journal Law and Method. The panel examines Smith’s reservations concerning natural law doctrine as can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among other traditions. It explores the potential to use perspectives from Smith’s public theology – in connection with other Christians thinkers such as Augustine – as a legal-theoretical alternative to ideas advanced by Ronald Dworkin and Jürgen Habermas. It will further consider the relevance of Smith’s work in the more general context of public administration. The organizers welcome paper proposals engaging other public theologies than Smith’s, as long as the focus remains on their potential for law and religion scholarship.

• Hans-Martien ten Napel (University of Leiden)


• Leonard Taylor (Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway) - Christian Poiesis: A Reading of Awaiting the King. Imagining with the Cultivation of a Posture the New Political Community through the Prism of Catholic Political and Liturgical Thought’ 
• Neville Rochow (Notre Dame Law School) - Australia – A ReImagining of Rawls’ Veil of Unknowing and Original Position 
• Michael Borowski (Indipendent Researcher) - Mining “the Kingdom” – Appropriating James K.A. Smith’s Trilogy for an Ethical Foundation of (German) Public Administration 
• Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol (University of Cambridge) - Conceptions of National Belonging in Protestant Political Thought 
• Hans-Martien ten Napel (Leiden University) - What’s Wrong with James K.A. Smith’s Criticism of Natural Law?’ 
• Yaron Catane (Bar Ilan University) - The New Dimensions of Public Religion in the Public Sphere

avatar for Hans-Martien ten Napel

Hans-Martien ten Napel

Associate Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, University of Leiden
Hans-Martien ten Napel, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Before his transfer to the law faculty, he taught at a Department of Political Science and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg... Read More →


Leonard Taylor

Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway

Neville Rochow

Notre Dame Law School; University of Adelaide

Michael Borowski

independent Researcher

Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol

University of Cambridge
avatar for Yaron Catane

Yaron Catane

PHD candidate, Bar-Ilan University
Rabbi Yaron Catane is a researcher in Law and Religion issues in Israel and is currently completing his PHD at Bar Ilan University Law school.His interests are especially related to the place of religion in the public sphere, the relationship between state and religion, and interreligious... Read More →

  • Language English
  • Language English