“The problem is that there isn’t an understanding among the general public of the heart of the issue,”said Michael Peabody (JD ’01), an employment attorney with Bradford & Barthel, LLP in Tarzana, California. “These issues become heated conflicts. When they hit the news, people become angry. They feel that their way of life is being threatened. But the issue is really a question of understanding law and religion as separate entities. It’s not an individual-focused debate. It’s one facing our society as a whole.”
To address that and additional topics, Pepperdine convened more than 80 expert panelists for a religious legal theory conference sponsored by the School of Law’s Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, and the University’s Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies. “Competing Claims of Law and Religion: Who Should Influence Whom?” was held at the School of Law from February 23 to 25.
The conference, which tackled a host of sub-questions, all at the forefront of contemporary debates over the respective roles of law and religion, was the largest religious and legal theory conference hosted by Pepperdine. Topics included constitutional law, good citizenship, and matters of religious faith.