Kinder Institute: The Constitution and Global Religious Liberty

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Kinder Institute: “The Constitutional Roots of American Global Leadership on Religious Freedom”


The Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri, a JMC partner program, will host Allen Hertzke for an exploration of the constitutional roots of the United States’ status as a global leader in upholding religious freedom and the pressing, present need to revitalize them.

When the United States emerged as a world power after World War II, it led the way in enshrining religious freedom as a universal right in international law and remains a global leader in upholding it. This leadership is rooted in the American constitutional heritage, which shaped a culture of religious vitality and tolerance. That heritage is fraying, as both government restrictions on religion and social hostilities are rising in the United States, according to Pew research. Sustaining American global leadership, it would seem, depends on renewing that heritage at home. Can the epidemic of religious persecution and turmoil afflicting the world today help inspire that renewal?

Friday, February 22, 2019 • 3:30 PM
Jesse Hall, Room 410 • University of Missouri

Free and open to the public

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Allen HertzkeAllen Hertzke is a David Ross Boyd Professor of Political Science at University of Oklahoma and Faculty Fellow in Religious Freedom for OU’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage. He is the author of Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights and Echoes of Discontent, among many other books, and most recently the co-editor of Cambridge University Press’ two-volume Christianity and Freedom project. Hertzke also serves as Associate Scholar of Georgetown’s Religious Freedom Project, Distinguished Senior Fellow for Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and as an editorial board member for the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and The Review of Faith & International Affairs. He received his M.S. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin, and from 2008-2010, was lead consultant for the John Templeton Foundation’s efforts to develop strategic recommendations for advancing religious freedom around the globe.

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The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri is an interdisciplinary, signature academic center on the Columbia campus, jointly operated by faculty from the Political Science and History Departments, in cooperation with other scholars across campus. It is dedicated to excellence in research, teaching, and community engagement on the subjects of American political thought, history, and institutions, with a particular emphasis on the ideas and events of the American Founding and their continued global impact and relevance today. It was created in 2015 by a generous gift from the Kinder Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation started by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas.

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