The William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution
In keeping with the Witherspoon Institute’s mission to enhance public understanding of the principles of free and democratic societies, the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution is dedicated to examining church-state legal doctrines in American constitutional thought and restoring and defending the understanding of religious liberty and the place of religion in American public life that our Nation’s founders set forth in the text of the Constitution. To achieve these goals, scholars associated with the Simon Center explore historical, sociopolitical and philosophical influences on the American constitutional tradition.
The Simon Center’s summer seminars bring leading scholars in the fields of law, political science, history, and philosophy together with junior faculty and with law, graduate, and post-doctoral students, to engage in intensive study of original sources and fundamental questions regarding the place of religious beliefs and moral principles in American public life.
The Simon Center’s task forces unite experts from the academy and from public policy research institutions in focused efforts to examine and respond to important problems at the intersection of politics and religious belief. Meetings of the task forces, and larger consultations of the task force members with other experts, are aimed at producing policy statements, and prompting new scholarly consideration, regarding the international and domestic dimensions of religious liberty in current American political life. The Simon Center currently has one task force: the Task Force on Conscience Protection.