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“Libertad Religiosa” presented to Pope Francis at Christianity and Freedom Conference in Rome

Libertad Religiosa and Pope Francis Senior Fellow Thomas F. Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center, presents Pope Francis with a copy of Libertad Religiosa, a Spanish translation of the Witherspoon Institute’s Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right, at the Vatican, on December 14, 2013.  The pope gave a private audience to the sixty participants in a conference held in Rome titled “Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives,” hosted by the Religious Freedom Project and co-sponsored by the Witherspoon Institute.  Continue reading


Summer Seminars 2014

6496Each summer the Institute organizes a program of intensive seminars exploring vital moral questions in social, philosophical, legal, and political thought. These small seminars are led by some of the leading scholars from the United States and Great Britain, and they constitute the core of the Institute’s effort to encourage and inform outstanding young men and women at the high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels who aspire to careers in the academy, public service, religious leadership and advocacy. Continue reading


Under God at Gettysburg? Lincoln’s Moral Constitution: A Public Lecture by Allen C. Guelzo

The Witherspoon Institute is pleased to announce the first annual William E. and Carol G. Simon Lecture on Religion in American Public Life with a lecture given by the distinguished Civil War historian Allen C. Guelzo, who is Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era Professor of History at Gettysburg College. The lecture, titled “Under God at Gettysburg? Lincoln’s Moral Constitution,” will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, at 4:30 PM. It will take place in McCormick Hall Room 101, on the campus of Princeton University. The lecture is co-sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. All are welcome to attend. Continue reading

Chen Guangcheng Appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights of the Institute

chen_guangchengThe Witherspoon Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Chen Guangcheng as Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights at the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution. Mr. Chen is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country.  Working in rural communities in China, where he was known as the “barefoot lawyer,” Chen advocated for the rights of disabled people, and organized class-action litigation against the government’s violent enforcement of its one-child policy.  Blind since his childhood, Chen is self-taught in the law.  His human rights activism resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese government for four years, beginning in 2006. After his release he remained under house arrest, until his escape from confinement in 2012, whereupon he came to the United States, where he was a fellow at NYU School of Law in 2012-13. Continue reading