Program on Church, State & Society grows with addition of director

Author: Denise Wager

Hannah Jonathan 1

The Notre Dame Law School Program on Church, State & Society has expanded with the addition of Jonathan Hannah as program director.

The Program on Church, State & Society focuses on the role of religion in society and how law structures these relationships. In conjunction with the University's other colleges and centers, the program hosts conferences, workshops, and other activities and is committed to increasing legal scholarship in order to promote dialogue on the interaction of these dynamic, and often colliding, aspects of society.

The program was founded in 2010 by Richard Garnett, Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor and current faculty director of the Program on Church, State & Society.

"This is an exciting development for the University and for the Law School. Jonathan brings to the Program on Church, State & Society the enthusiasm, expertise, and commitment necessary to help us grow, to provide students with more opportunities for experiential learning and employment, and to support rigorous and timely academic research,” Garnett said.

Hannah comes to the Law School after five years as director of foundation relations at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a Moreau faculty instructor in Notre Dame’s First Year Experience program. He previously worked as a policy analyst in Washington, D.C., and has been an instructor at the Lewis University College of Business.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Xavier University, a master’s degree from Lewis University, and a juris doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy. He was a Fulbright scholar in 2015 and participated in an International Education Administrator program in Germany.

Hannah will oversee the continued growth of the program, which has seen a significant increase in both programming and donor support during the past eight years.

Highlights include:

  • Awarded summer fellowships to 10 students over the past three years to work for several religious institutions in a variety of legal capacities.
  • Serves as the main sponsor of the National Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Religious Freedom now organized annually by the Notre Dame Law School Moot Court Board.
  • Funds several students each year to travel and participate in moot court competitions nationally and internationally on the topic of religious freedom.
  • Co-founded the Annual Law and Religion Roundtable, which brings together legal scholars to discuss current issues and research.
  • Engaged, through lectures and discussions, with key thought leaders in the area of law and religion. Examples include John Witte of Emory University School of Law, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, and John Garvey, president of Catholic University of America.
  • Helped sponsor and provide guidance to the Notre Dame Law Review’s annual symposium, “Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae.”