I was asked to post this by the conference organizers:
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Love and Law Conference
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, MALIBU, CALIFORNIA
FEBRUARY 7-8, 2014
In a provocative essay, philosopher Jeffrie Murphy asks: “What would law be like if we organized it around the value of Christian love [agape]?”Analogous questions arise within other theological and moral traditions. What would be the implications for the substance and the practice of law? We invite presentation and panel proposals for our upcoming conference. See below for details. The following speakers are already confirmed:
Jeffrie Murphy, Regents’ Professor of Law, Philosophy, and Religious Studies Arizona State University College of Law – “Love, Law, and Criminal Punishment”
James Boyd White, L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan – “Agape: the Activity of Reframing”
Charles Mathewes, Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia – "'Be Instructed, All You Who Judge the Earth': The Dialectic of Law and Love during the World in Psalm 2:10 and Augustine"
Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary – “Calvin, Law, and Love”
Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law, Villanova School of Law, - "Law AS Love: A view from the Talmud”
Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California - “Love as Law: A Hindu Approach”
Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education, Claremont School of Theology – “Humanizing Legal Systems: Exploring the Capacity for a Humane Approach to Justice from a Muslim Perspective”
Barbara Armacost, Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law –“Restorative Justice”
Meghan J. Ryan, Assistant Professor of Law, SMU School of Law - “Dignity and Rehabilitation”
Patrick Brennan, John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University School of Law, - “Love, Justice, and Polity in Catholic Social Doctrine”
Zachary Calo, Associate Professor, Valparaiso University Law School –"Sacralizing Law? Political Forgiveness and Liberal Justice"
David VanDrunen, Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, Westminster Seminary California - “Why Christian Love Is an Improper Category to Apply to Civil Law: A Contrarian Perspective”
Robert Vischer, Dean, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minnesota -“Is Agape the Last, Best Hope for the Legal Profession?”
Stephen Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law – “The Relevance of Agape to Fiduciary Duties, If Any”
Ellen Pryor, Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, UNT Dallas College of Law - “Agape and Legal Education”
Michael Scaperlanda, Gene and Elaine Edwards Family Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law - “Love, Law, and the Immigrant”
Amy Uelmen, Visiting Lecturer, Georgetown School of Law – “A Duty to Rescue”
Joel A. Nichols Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota -"Love, Indeterminacy, and Family Law"
James W. McCarty, Emory Center for the Study of Law and Religion, "Divine Love, Humanity's Law, and the 'Crime Against Humanity' in Transitional Justice"
The idea that law should be a manifestation of love stands in tension with modern and post-modern notions that law should be solely concerned with individual autonomy or efficiency or that law is by nature only a matter of power. Our reigning schools of legal thought tend to be reductionistic, focusing on a limited aspect of human good. Liberalism leaves individuals isolated and alone. Many law and economics scholars emphasize efficiency, but have provided no basis for the protection of human dignity (at least for the ‘have nots’). Critical legal scholars have deconstructed law and concluded that law is merely power, but generally have failed to provide a basis for reconstruction.
Jeffrie Murphy notes that agape love is not simply concerned with making people’s lives more pleasant. It is not “cuddly.” If agape is the aim, a polity might “design legal practices and institutions with a view to the moral and spiritual improvement of affected citizens.” Would the grounding of law in love yield broad-based human flourishing and authentic freedom? Or might it provide the basis for an authoritarian regime?
The notion of law grounded in love has a rich history. Jesus summarized the Mosaic Law as love of God and neighbor. John Calvin said that all nations’ laws “must be in conformity to that perpetual rule of love.” Over the centuries groups have sought to ground law in love, to good and ill effect.
Law might bear several sorts of relationships to love. Love might be the motivation behind the work of lawyers, judges, legislators, police, and active citizens. The adoption and enforcement of wise laws can be among the most loving things that someone can do. It may also be that law can teach and encourage love. The Jewish law required land owners to allow poor people to harvest the grain at the edges of their fields. It may be that for some, this legal requirement created the good habit—the virtue—of love.
The idea of law grounded in love generates numerous big questions which will be addressed throughout this conference. We invite people from the fields of philosophy, political science, law, history, economics, theology, and psychology to propose presentations and panels on any aspect of this topic. See topic ideas below. Presentations may be based on previously published work or work in progress. There is no publication requirement.
Request for Proposals
If you would like to make a presentation or organize a panel, please submit your proposal by September 13, 2013 via email to [email protected]. Proposals should include a short abstract and bio (one page total). Speakers will be arranged into panels and will have 12-15 minutes to present. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with funding.
If you have questions about the substance of the conference, please contact Bob Cochran at [email protected]. For questions about the details of the conference, contact Dana Zacharia by email at [email protected] or by phone at (310) 506-6978.
For more information on the conference and to view details of past conferences, see our website:http://law.pepperdine.edu/nootbaar/annual-conference/
- What is the meaning of agape, and how does it differ from other notions of love, including eros and philia?
- What is the relationship between law and various religious concepts of love, including Judaism’s din, hesed and ahava, Islam’s rahman, and Hinduism’s kama?
- What balance of freedom and order would law grounded in love yield?
- How might law be a manifestation of love toward citizens and how might law encourage citizens to be more loving to one another?
- How does law affect character and how might law grounded in love encourage the development of good character?
- Historical Attempts to Implement Love and Law
- Love, Law, and Justice
- Love, Law, and Current Schools of Legal Thought
- How might love and law shape our understanding of community and the common good?
- How might love grounded in law encourage wealthy citizens to be more caring?
- What sorts of social welfare regimes would love grounded in law generate?
- Would law grounded in love generate dependent citizens?
- What is the relationship between love, law, and theology in our religious traditions?
- What are the insights of ancient and modern thinkers on love and law?
- Love, Economic Justice, and the Global Economy
- Love, Law, and the Human Person
- Love and Substantive Legal Subject Areas
- Love, Law, and Dispute Resolution
- Love, Law, and the Work of Lawyers
- How might law grounded in love encourage forgiveness and reconciliation?