CFP: Law, Literature, and Religion (3/15/09; 10/1-10/3/09)

by Jessica C. Murphy

OCTOBER 1 – 3, 2009

Villanova’s Law School and Department of English will hold a law and literature symposium, the first in a projected annual series, beginning Thursday evening, October 1, 2009, and ending Saturday afternoon, October 3, 2009. The symposium has also been supported by a grant from the Law and Humanities Institute.

We invite interested scholars to submit abstracts of proposed papers. Peter Goodrich (Professor of Law and Director of Law and Humanities, Cardozo School of Law), Steven Mailloux (Professor of English and Chancellor’s Professor of Rhetoric, Department of English, University of California – Irvine), and Robin West (Associate Dean, Research and Academic Programs, and Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University Law Center), will be keynote speakers.

The conference theme for 2009, “Law, Literature, and Religion”, is broadly conceived. Papers may include but are not limited to papers on any literary, rhetorical, narrative, or textual aspects of law and religion; the exegesis and hermeneutics of legal texts or topics; interpretation in law, literature, and religion; shared languages and histories of law and religion; discursive intersections of civil and canon law; ethics and justice explored in religious and secular literature; the comparative poetics or rhetoric of legality and religion; legal priesthoods; political theology;
orthodoxies and/or heterodoxies; humanisms; Pauline studies; religious images in law; literary works about religion in/and/as law; and law as a civil religion. Papers will be 20-25 minutes long to permit time for discussion.

Abstracts should be sent to Professor Penelope Pether (, to whom inquiries may also be addressed. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, and should arrive before March 15, 2009. Invitees will be notified by April 30, 2009, and will receive room and board at (but not transportation to and from) the symposium, provided by Villanova University School of Law.

It is anticipated that a limited number of places will be available for attendees who are not presenting papers. The symposium is being convened by Professor David S. Caudill, Arthur M. Goldberg Family Chair in Law, and Professor Penelope J. Pether of Villanova University School of Law; and Professors Evan Radcliffe (Departmental Chair) and Cristina Maria Cervone of the Department of English at Villanova University.