Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory – Spring 2023

Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory

Law 210.2B – Spring Semester 2023

All sessions for Spring 2023 will be held in person in room 141 Law Building. (unless otherwise noted*), Fridays from 12:15 pm-2:00 pm. Papers for upcoming talks are available to download in the table below.  Alternatively, copies of papers may be requested by contacting Jennifer McBride at

The full Spring 2023 workshop schedule is available for download here.

Course Description:

This course is a workshop for discussing works in progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The workshop creates a space for students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on normative questions toward the goal of fostering critical thinking about concepts of value and developing analytical thinking and writing skills. Another aim is to bring together people from different disciplines and perspectives who have strong normative interests or who speak to issues philosophers and theorists should know something about.

For Spring 2023, the workshop will focus on the intersection of religion with law, politics, and philosophy.

This semester the workshop is co-taught by Jonathan Gould and Josh Cohen.

The format of the course is as follows. A designated student commentator will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the paper. The presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond and then we will open up the discussion to the group. The first part of the course will be open to all, including non-enrolled students, faculty, and visitors who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. We’ll stop for a break and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest for the last 50 minutes.

This is a shared seating course between the Law School (Law 210.2B), the Philosophy Department (Philosophy 290-7), and the Political Science Department (PS 211).  

Zoom is available for those that cannot attend in Person.

Zoom link to join: in a new tab) 

Jan. 13


(Enrolled Students Only)

Professor Jonathan Gould

Professor Josh Cohen

Jan. 20 Alan Patten(opens in a new tab), Politics, Princeton University

Religious Liberty in the Time of Pandemic

Jan. 27 Melissa Lane(opens in a new tab), Weinstein fellow, Politics, Princeton University

Plato on Rule and Office: The Value and Limits of Proceduralism

Feb. 3 Intisar Rabb(opens in a new tab), Law and History, Harvard Law

Metacanons: Comparative Textualism

Feb. 10 Kevin Vallier(opens in a new tab), Philosophy, Bowling Green State University

Is Catholic Integralism Just? Assessing Religious Postliberal Alternatives to Liberalism

Feb. 17 Thomas Pink(opens in a new tab), Philosophy, King’s College London

Natural Law and the Nature of Obligation

Feb. 24 Michael McConnell(opens in a new tab), Law, Stanford University

Disestablishment in the States

Mar. 3 Elizabeth Sepper(opens in a new tab), Law, University of Texas

Government’s Religious Hospitals 

Mar. 10 Michele Margolis(opens in a new tab), Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Sensitive Snowflakes? Understanding Perceived Discrimination Against Christians

Mar. 17 David Hollinger(opens in a new tab), History, UC Berkeley

Christianity’s American Fate: How Religion Became More Conservative and Society More Secular

Mar. 24  Khaled Abou El Fadl(opens in a new tab), Law, UCLA

The Aborted Spring and Islamic Exceptionalism

Mar. 31

Spring Break – No Workshop

Apr. 7 Nelson Tebbe(opens in a new tab), Law, Cornell University

Reestablishing Religion

Apr. 14 Ronit Stahl(opens in a new tab), History, UC Berkeley

Strings Attached? Government Funding and Religious Hospitals

Apr. 21 Ayelet Shachar(opens in a new tab), Law, Political Science, and Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Solidarity in Place? Hope and Despair in Postpandemic Membership