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Rule of God and Rule of Law Speaker Biographies

Anita L. Allen-Castellitto

Deputy Dean and Henry Silverman Professor of Law; Professor of Philosophy

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Anita L. Allen-Castellitto

Anita L. Allen is an expert on privacy law, bioethics, and contemporary values, and is recognized for her scholarship about legal philosophy, women’s rights, and race relations. Her books include Unpopular Privacy (forthcoming Oxford, 2010); Privacy Law and Society (Thomson/West, 2007); The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (Miramax/Hyperion, 2004); Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); and Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (Rowman and Littlefield, 1988). She co-edited (with Milton Regan) Debating Democracy’s Discontent (Oxford, 1998). Allen writes for popular magazines and blogs, and has frequently appeared on nationally broadcast television and radio programs.

Sahar Aziz

Senior Policy Advisor at the Office for Civil Rights

Department of Homeland Security

Sahar Aziz is a civil rights attorney with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Washington, D.C.  She served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where she addressed legal and policy issues at the intersection of national security and civil rights.  Prior to joining the government, Ms. Aziz was a civil right litigator at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll where she represented employees in class action suits alleging employment discrimination and other civil rights claims.  Ms. Aziz’s publications include The Laws on Providing Material Support to Terrorist Organizations: The Erosion of Constitutional Rights or a Legitimate Tool for Combating Terrorism? – Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (Fall 2003), which adresses constitutional implications of anti-terrorism financing and material support laws on the charitable sector and Sticks and Stones, the Words that Hurt: Entrenched Stereotypes 8 Years After 9/11, New York City Law Review (March 2010) which addresses post-9/11 employment discrimination against Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians.

Lynn Davidman

Beren Distinguished Professor, Modern Jewish Studies

University of Kansas

Lynn DavidmanDr. Davidman is a faculty member in Sociology and Religious Studies as the Beren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies. She has published three books with major university presses: “Tradition in a Rootless World” (University of California Press, 1991), which won a National Jewish Book Award; “Motherloss” (University of Calif Press, 2000); and “Feminist Perspectives in Jewish Studies” (Yale, 2004), co-edited with Shelly Tenenbaum. Her research has appeared in a variety of prestigious journals such as Sociology of Religion and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Lynn serves on the advisory board of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University and is a member of the editorial board for Qualitative Sociology. She comes to KU from Brown University, where she has been a professor of Judaic studies, American civilization and gender studies.

Joseph E. Steinmetz, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, praises Lynn Davidman as “a foremost scholar in modern Jewish studies whose work intersects the disciplines of sociology, religious studies, Jewish studies, women and gender studies, and race, religion and ethnicity.” She brings her skills and enthusiasm to the rapidly expanding program in Jewish Studies at KU. And as a colleague in the departments of Religious Studies and Sociology, her vision will be instrumental to the development of transdisciplinary tracks in sociology of religion, women and gender at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Simeon Ilesanmi

Washington M. Wingate Professor, Religion

Simeon Ilesanmi

Wake Forest University

Simeon O. Ilesanmi is the Washington M. Wingate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Religion at Wake Forest University.  He teaches and writes in the areas of comparative ethics, religion and politics, and just war theory. An associate editor of Journal of Religious Ethics, he is also on the editorial board of several academic journals. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics and has served in a similar capacity in the Society of Christian Ethics. His current and continuing projects include human rights in Africa, war crimes, and the role of religion in contemporary African politics.

John Kelsay

Distinguished Research Professor and Richard L. Rubenstein Professor, Religion

John Kelsay

Florida State University

John Kelsay is Distinguished Research Professor and Richard L. Rubenstein Professor of Religion at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.  His teaching and research focus on the comparative study of religious ethics.  Professor Kelsay’s publications include Arguing the Just War In Islam (Harvard University Press, 2007).

Win-chiat Lee

Associate Professor, Philosophy

Win-chiat Lee

Wake Forest University

Win-chiat Lee is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. He did his undergraduate work at Cornell and graduate work at Princeton, both in philosophy. His research interest has migrated over the years from ethics and political philosophy to philosophy of law, including philosophy of international criminal law. His latest publications are on the subject of universal jurisdiction. Besides philosophy of law, Lee teaches regularly courses in social and political philosophy and global justice. He served as the chair of the Philosophy Department at Wake Forest from 1993 to 2001.

Mark Lilla

Professor, Humanities

Columbia University

Mark LillaMark Lilla was born in Detroit Michigan into what he describes as a non-strict Roman Catholic family.  After briefly attending Wayne State University, Lilla graduated from the University of Michigan in 1978 with a degree in economics and political science.  While attending Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, he began writing journalism, and after graduating with a Master of Public Policy he became an editor of the public policy quarterly The Public  Interest, where he remained until 1984.  Returning to Harvard, he worked with sociologist Daniel Bell and political theorists Judith Shklar and Harvey Mansfield, receiving his Ph.D. in Government.

A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the New York Times, he is best known for his books The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics and The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West.  After holding professorships at New York University and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he joined Columbia University in 2007 as Professor of Humanities.  He lectures widely and has delivered the Weizmann Memorial Lecture in Israel and the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford University.

Andrew F. March

Assistant Professor, Political Science & Law

Yale University

Andrew MarchAndrew F. March is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale  University.  He is the author of Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus (OUP), which won the 2009 book award from the American Academy of Religion for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Constructive-Reflective Studies Category).  He has published articles on Islamic law and liberal legal and political theory in, amongst others, American Political Science Review, Philosophy & Public Affairs, Islamic Law & Society, Journal of Political Philosophy, and Cardozo Law Review.  He is presently working on long-term projects related to issues of spech and the sacred in Western countries, the concept of human nature (fitra) in modern Islamic thought, and the Islamic legal theory of the “objectives of Shari’a” in Muslim minority contexts.

Richard Miller

Director of Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions and Professor, Religious Studies

Indiana University

Richard MillerRichard B. Miller is Director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University.  His research interests include religion and public life, political and social ethics, theory and method in religious thoughts and ethics, and medical ethics.  Miller is the author of Interpretations of Conflict: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition (University of Chicago Press, 1991); Causality and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning (University of Chicago Press, 1996); Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine (Indiana University Press, 2003), and Terror, Religion, and Liberal Social Criticism (Columbia University Press, forthcoming), along with articles and book chapters on the ethics of humanitarian intervention, multiculturalism, and the ethics of memory, among other topics.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Religion, the Journal of Religious Ethics, Theological Studies, Soundings, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Ethics and International Affairs, and the Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics.  With Eric Meslin of the IU Center for Bioethics, he co-edits the IU Press series, Bioethics and the Humanities.

Wilson Parker

Professor of Law

Wake Forest University

J. Wilson Parker is a professor of law at Wake Forest University.  He graduated from Yale University with a degree in American Studies and Duke Law School.  He teaches Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence.  He is a primary author of Constitutional Law in Context.  In 1997 he was a visiting scholar-in-residence at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.  His current research interest concerns constitutional history and federal-state relations, and this semester he is teaching a new course on “The Great Justices of the United States Supreme Court.”  Wilson is also the director of the Law School’s summer program in England.  Prior to joining the faculty in 1991, Wilson was a trial lawyer in private practice in North Carolina, litigating employment, civil rights, and civil liberties cases.  He served as Chairman of the Amicus Curiae Committee of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers for several years and on the Board of the North Carolina Center for Death Penalty Litigation.

Frank Ravitch

Professor, Law

Michigan State University College of Law

Frank RavitchProfessor Frank S. Ravitch is the Foundation Chair in Law and Reliigon at the Michigan State University College of Law.  He is the author of the books, Marketing Creation: The Law and Intelligent Design (Cambridge University Press, expected 2010); Masters of Illusion: The Supreme Court and the Religion Clauses (NYU Press 2007); Law and Religion, A Reader: Cases, Concepts, and Theory, 2nd Ed. (West 2008) (First Ed. 2004); Employment Discrimination Law (Prentice Hall 2005) (with Pameal Sumners and Janis McDonald); and School Prayer and Discrimination: The Civil Rights of Religious Minorities and Dissenters (Northeastern University Press, 1999 & paperback edition 2001).  Professor Ravitch is currently working on a treatise with the late Boris Bittker and Scott Idelman called “Religion and the State in American Law,” which is supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.  He has also published a number of law review articles dealing with law and religion, civil rights law, and disability discrimination in journals such as the Georgia Law Review, Wake Forest Law Review, BYU Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and Cardozo Law Review.  In 2001, Professor Ravitch was named a Fulbright Scholar and served on the Faculty of Law at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, where he taught U.S. Constitutional Law and Law & Religion and engaged in research.

Professor Ravitch recently wrote an amicus brief addressing constitutional issues to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of twenty railroad unions in Norfolk Southern Railroad, Inc. v. Sowell. He also wrote an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Interfaith Alliance and the Horace Mann League in support of the petition for writ of certiorari in Chandler v. Siegelman, a school prayer case from Alabama. He regularly serves as an expert for print and broadcast media and speaks on topics related to church/state and civil rights law to a wide range of national and local organizations.

William Schweiker

Director of the Martin Marty Center and Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor, Theological Ethics

University of Chicago

William SchweikerWilliam Schweiker works in the field of theological ethics. His scholarship and teaching engage theological and ethical questions attentive to global dynamics, comparative religious ethics, the history of ethics, and hermeneutical philosophy. Professor Schweiker’s books include Mimetic Reflections: A Study in Hermeneutics, Theology and Ethics (1990); Responsibility and Christian Ethics (1995); Power, Value and Conviction: Theological Ethics in the Postmodern Age (1998); Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds (2004); and, most recently, he coauthored Religion and the Human Future: An Essay in Theological Humanism (2008). Schweiker has published numerous articles and award-winning essays, as well as edited and contributed to six volumes, including, most recently, Humanity Before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Ethics (2006). Professor Schweiker is also chief editor and contributor to A Companion to Religious Ethics (2004), a comprehensive and innovative work in the field of comparative religious ethics. He is currently working on a forthcoming book with Wiley-Blackwell, titled Religious Ethics: An Introduction. His current research is for a book on ethics and the integrity of life. Professor Schweiker is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.