The 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. [Read more…] about Chen Guangcheng Appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights of the Institute
The Witherspoon Institute mourns the passing of our friend Jean Bethke Elshtain. She was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavy Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at Georgetown University. Jean was a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and a member of the Editorial Board of Public Discourse, our online journal. She was 72. [Read more…] about Jean Bethke Elshtain, 1941-2013
Robert P. George, the Herbert W. Vaughan Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton, was elected Tuesday, July 23, to serve as Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Professor George was appointed to the Commission in 2012 by Speaker of the House John Boehner and is serving his first term as a Commissioner.
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, USCIRF’s outgoing Chair and an appointee of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced Professor George’s selection. “I have been honored to work alongside Professor George this past year in the struggle to guarantee religious freedom abroad for people of every faith and shade of belief. He is a true human rights champion, whose compassion for victims of oppression and wisdom about international religious freedom shine through all we have accomplished this past year. Our bipartisan Commission is united in its admiration for George’s skills as an advocate and leader of the international religious freedom movement. The Commission is eager to continue its work under his able leadership.” [Read more…] about Senior Fellow Robert P. George Elected Chair of Commission on International Religious Freedom
The Witherspoon Institute will have its annual Open House on Saturday, June 1st, 2013 (during the Princeton University Reunions) from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Whelan Hall, the home of the Institute on 16 Stockton Street in Princeton, New Jersey (pictured). Everyone is invited to come to read, hear, and see what the Institute has been doing recently. Staff will be on hand to answer questions, and literature about the Institute and its projects will be available. Light lunch refreshments will be available as well.
The Witherspoon Institute’s Summer Seminars are a collection of intensive summer programs exploring vital moral questions in social, philosophical, legal, and political thought. These small seminars are led by some of the leading scholars of 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 academic careers and rigorous scholarship. [Read more…] about Summer Seminars 2013