International Conference Honors Emeriti Prof. Don Kommers

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faculty_kommers Scholars, jurists, and advocates from around the globe will gather at the University of Notre Dame to discuss “Church-State Relations and Religious Liberties: Comparative Perspectives” on September 22-23, 2008. The conference provides an opportunity for participants representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, India, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States to engage the complex issues of church-state relations and religious liberty from a truly comparative perspective.

The conference serves as a tribute to Professor Donald P. Kommers, who served as a member of the Law School faculty since 1976. He has been a Notre Dame faculty member since 1963, and held the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Chair of Political Science until his recent retirement.

Conference panelists will consider hypothetical narratives by applying their own constitutional traditions and explore the possibility of convergence across national boundaries. The conference broadens its perspective further with a panel addressing global trends in the jurisprudence of religious liberty.

The conference will conclude with a keynote address on September 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in the McKenna Hall Auditorium. Entitled “Protection of Religious Feelings in Liberal Democracies: Reflections on the Experience with the Danish Cartoons,” the address will be delivered by Dieter Grimm, a former Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court. Kenneth Ripple, a Judge serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, will offer a response.

The conference is sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Notre Dame Law School, the Office of Research, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Program in American Democracy. For more information or to register, contact Monica Caro at or visit

To learn more about Professor Kommers, visit his faculty profile page.