John Witte Jr.

John Witte

  • John Witte  Jr.
  • Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University


John Calvin called for the separation of church and state but not the division of religion and politics. He advocated human rights but always with corresponding religious duties. He accepted democracy and rule of law but within the confines of a refined and rigorous Christian republicanism. In this lecture celebrating the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth, one of the world's leading scholars of law and religion assesses Calvin's political legacy and its enduring lessons for us still today.

John Witte, Jr. is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion Center at Emory University.  A specialist in legal history, marriage, and religious liberty, he has published 150 articles, 11 journal symposia, and 23 books – including recently Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (2000, 2d. ed. 2005); Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation (2002); Sex, Marriage and Family Life in John Calvin’s Geneva (2005); Modern Christian Teachings on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, 2 vols. (2006); God’s Joust, God’s Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (2006); The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (2007); and Christianity and Law: An Introduction.  His writings have appeared in ten languages, and he has lectured through North America, Western Europe, Japan, Israel, and South Africa.  He has been selected ten times by the Emory law students as the Most Outstanding Professor and has won dozens of other awards and prizes for his teaching and research.

John Witte, Jr. is opening the January Series as part of the year long celebration of John Calvin's 500th birthday that is taking place on our campus and around the world in 2009. We are pleased to have him on the January Series 2009!

Presentations at Calvin College:

John Witte Jr. - “Faith-Based Family Laws in the West: What Role for Religious Communities in the Governance of Marriage?”
Part of the: Stob Lecture Series

Thursday, November 10, 2011  (7:30 PM–9:00 PM EST)
Seminary Auditorium (175S)

John Witte Jr. - "The Covenant of Marriage: Its Biblical Roots, Historical Influences, and Modern Uses"
Part of the: Stob Lecture Series

Wednesday, November 9, 2011  (7:30 PM–9:00 PM EST)
Seminary Auditorium (175S)

Watch now Separation of Church and State - Calvin Style: A 500th Anniversary Celebration
Part of the: January Series

Wednesday, January 7, 2009  (12:30 PM–1:30 PM EST)
Covenant Fine Arts Center Auditorium

Underwritten by: Barnes & Thornburg

Watch now    Listen now

Featured publication

Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective

Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective
by John Witte  Jr.
Eerdmans (October 20, 2005)


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