CfP: Emory Center for the Study of Law and Religion: Law, Religion, and Coronavirus in the United States, A Six-Month Assessment

Proposals for participation in a blog conference on “Law, Religion, and Coronavirus in the United States: A Six-Month Assessment”, are being accepted until August 31st, 2020. An online webinar open to the public will be held on Friday October 2, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. EDT where brief 3-5 minute summaries of blog posts of approximately 1500 words will be presented. The blog posts will then be simultaneously published on the blogs of the five co-organizing institutions.

The purpose of the blog conference and webinar is to provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection on the implications for law and religion in the United States of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic and racial justice crises, from our current perspectives approximately six months into the crisis. The content and format of the webinar will in part be determined by the proposals for participation, but we anticipate grouping presentations under several topical areas:

  • Church Finances and State Funding of Religion: What have been the financial implications of coronavirus for religious institutions, religious schools, and faith-based charities, including participation in government bailout and aid programs? Will the pandemic and its aftermath have lasting effects on how state funding of religion is viewed in the United States and by the Supreme Court?
  • Law and Society: How will the pandemic affect religious practice? Will it act as an accelerant for social trends including the “rise of the nones?” Will it result in a religious recession, Renaissance, or something else? Will there be different implications for institutions and individuals?
  • Church Liability and Clergy Malpractice: Will religious organizations, or religious leaders, face personal liability for harm to parishioners who attend services, or follow advice and counsel of religious leaders, and later contract coronavirus? Will we see an increase in liability in tort or based on theories such as clergy malpractice?
  • Science and Vaccines: What can we expect from the role of religious organizations and religious people in the debates that will emerge about vaccines and exemptions from vaccines? Are there other implications for religious freedom that will arise from a scientific consensus on public health matters?
  • Long-term Implications: From our limited vantage point, what will be the long-term implications of the coronavirus and related crises for law and religion in the United States?

Please submit brief proposals for your participation of approximately 100 words (not completed blog posts) through the “Submissions” page on Emory’s Canopy Forum by August 31st, 2020.

Please indicate in your submission that you are responding to this call for proposals, either in the subject line of the submission form, or in the document you submit.  We anticipate informing participants during the first week of September whether their proposal has been accepted for inclusion. Blog posts will be due one week before the webinar so they can be edited and ready for posting upon completion of the webinar. We are pleased to offer an honorarium of $200 for the blog post of each participant in the webinar.

Submit here: https://canopyforum.org/submit/

Author: Fannie Bialek

Fannie Bialek is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

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