Religious Liberty Summit

The Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit is an annual gathering of the foremost thought leaders on religious liberty. The summit stimulates engaging conversations between scholars, advocates, and religious leaders about the future of religious liberty in the United States and around the world.

The inaugural Religious Liberty Summit was held in 2021 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The second Religious Liberty Summit was held from July 20-22, 2022, in Rome, Italy.

Each year during the summit, one individual is honored with the Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty in recognition of achievement in preserving religious liberty. At the second Religious Liberty Summit, former Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon received the prize and was honored for her distinguished service and scholarship to the United States and the Catholic Church.

Steven Smith, the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law and Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Law & Religion at the University of San Diego School of Law, received the 2022 Notre Dame Religious Liberty Initiative Scholarship Award. Given annually to a legal scholar for accomplishments in the fields of law and religion, the award was also presented during the second Religious Liberty Summit.

Fore more news on the second Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit, check out the following links and summit schedule below:

2022 Religious Liberty Summit Schedule

Attendance at the Religious Liberty Summit was by invitation only.

Although the summit was not open to the general public for in-person attendance, the following sessions were recorded and are available to watch on the Law School’s YouTube channel.

  Wednesday, July 20

Protecting Religious Minorities

  • Nury Turkel
    Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Farahnaz Ispahani
    The International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief
    Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
    Former Member, Parliament of Pakistan
  • Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves
    Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights, Federal University of Uberlandia
    Lead Researcher, Brazilian Center for Studies in Law and Religion
  • Samah Norquist (moderator)
    Public Policy Fellow, The Wilson Center
    Former Chief Advisor for International Religious Freedom to the Administrator, USAID


  • Laura Palazzani
    Professor of Philosophy of Law, LUMSA University of Rome
  • Lorenza Violini
    Professor of Constitutional Law
    University of Milan
  • Andrea Simoncini
    Professor of Constitutional Law
    University of Florence
  • Stefan McDaniel (moderator)
    Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
    Notre Dame Law School

President Dallin H. Oaks
First Counselor in the First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  Thursday, July 21

Interreligious Dialogue

  • Imam Dr. Nader Akkad
    Grand Mosque of Rome
    Co-President, International Marian Muslim Christian Commission
  • His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos OBE
    Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London
    Papal Legate to the United Kingdom
  • Grandmother Mona Polacca
    International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
  • Fr. John Paul Kimes (moderator)
    Associate Professor of the Practice
    Notre Dame Law School


  • Ana María Celis Brunet
    Professor of Law
    Director, Center for Law and Religion
    Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
  • Augusta Muthigani
    National Executive Secretary
    Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Very Rev. Fr. Friedrich Bechina, F.S.O.
    Undersecretary, Congregation for Catholic Education
  • Brett Scharffs
    Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law
    Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies
    Brigham Young University Law School
  • Nicole Stelle Garnett (moderator)
    John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law
    Notre Dame Law School
Dr. Barbara Jatta
Director, Vatican Museums


  • Eric Rassbach
    Vice President and Senior Counsel
    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • John L. Allen Jr.
    Editor, Crux
  • Fr. James Martin, SJ
    Editor-at-Large, America Magazine
  • Kelsey Dallas
    Religion reporter and editor, Deseret News
  • Richard Garnett (moderator)
    Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corp. Professor of Law
    Notre Dame Law School
Gala and 

Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty

  • Mary Ann Glendon
    Learned Hand Professor of Law, emerita, Harvard Law School
    Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See

Religious Liberty Initiative Scholarship Award

  • Steven Smith
    Professor of Law and Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Law & Religion
    University of San Diego School of Law
  Friday, July 22
  • Robert P. George
    McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
    Professor of Politics
    Director, James Madison Program
    Princeton University
  • Cornel West
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice
    Union Theological Seminary
  • G. Marcus Cole (moderator)
    Joseph A. Matson Dean & Professor of Law
    Notre Dame Law School

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