May 16, 2006 11:10 Age: 8 yrs

Perry to Lecture on Morality, Human Rights in Europe

By: April Bogle

Emory law professor Michael J. Perry will address the role of secularism and Christianity in the morality of human rights during upcoming lectures in Budapest, Istanbul and Dublin.

Perry will deliver the lecture “Is There a Secular Basis for the Morality of Human Rights?” at Central European University in Budapest, May 24. He will discuss the same topic at an international symposium titled “New Perspectives for Human Rights” in Istanbul, May 25-30.

“This is a somewhat controversial subject in Europe at this time. Although western European countries are strongly committed to human rights, Europe is an increasingly secular place,” Perry said.

In Dublin June 24-29, Perry will participate in a conference at Trinity College Dublin titled “Religion and Liberalism: The Christian Foundations of Liberal Society.” His topic will be “Under God: Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy,” where he argues that Christianity offers strong and even essential support for human rights.

Perry, a Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law and a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR), has been one of the leading constitutional law scholars in the United States for more than two decades. He is especially noted for his interest in a variety of issues related to the intersection of law, religion, and mortality: the role of morality in constitutional interpretation, the proper place of religiously grounded moralities in American law and politics, and the religious and moral foundations of human rights.

At the CSLR, Perry directs a major research project titled “Moral and Religious Foundations of Law” and leads an annual roundtable on new books in morality, religion and law. The author of nine books, published by Oxford, Cambridge and Yale university presses, Perry has written on a broad range of the most contentious issues of American law and politics. He joined Emory University School of Law in 2004 from Wake Forest University, where he held the University Distinguished Chair in Law.  He also has taught at Northwestern University, where he held the Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law, and has served as a visiting professor and guest scholar at Yale Law School, the University of Tokyo School of Law, and at Trinity College (Dublin) School of Law.

The CSLR is home to world class scholars and forums on the religious foundations of law, politics, and society. It offers expertise on how the teachings and practices of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have shaped and continue to transform the fundamental ideas and institutions of our public and private lives. The scholarship of CSLR faculty provides the latest perspectives, while its conferences and public forums foster reasoned and robust public debate.

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