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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Religious Freedom and its Limits (Spring 2019)

Course Description

Recent legal controversies, including the travel ban case and claims to religious exemptions from antidiscrimination laws (e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop) and the “contraceptive mandate” of the Affordable Care Act (e.g., Hobby Lobby), raise fundamental questions about the scope of religious liberty and the separation of church and state.  This course traces explores the Free Exercise and Establishment Clause doctrines that pertain to these questions. The primary focus will be on case law and legal doctrine.  The course also situates the development of religion clause jurisprudence in the broader context of the political, cultural and religious history of the United States.  And it addresses broad theoretical questions concerning the competing conceptions of religious freedom, pluralism and the proper relationship between church and state that underlie different interpretations of the First Amendment. Coursework includes weekly journals and a final exam.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Exam: In-class exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: No
  • Participation: Points will be awarded