Religious Lawyering: Defining Our Terms
What characterizes the "religious lawyering" conversation is its focus on how religious values and perspectives may provide a completely different structural framework for an approach to professional life
Religious lawyering insists that there should be room in the profession for lawyers to integrate religious perspectives and substantive critiques to the issues which arise not just at the margins, but at the heart of ordinary day-to-day legal practice.
It suggests that this is a conversation to be held not just within the quiet of one's individual conscience, but as an open dialogue and debate in law offices, in judge's chambers, in legislatures, and even in law schools.
Faculty and Staff
Russell G. Pearce (Faculty Moderator)
Founder and faculty moderator Professor Russell G. Pearce is widely credited as a leading animator of what is now known as "religious lawyering." Read more.
Endy Moraes (Director)
Endy Moraes, Director, Institute on Religion Law and Lawyer's Work at Fordham Law School, is a Brazilian lawyer with extensive experience in inter-religious and intercultural dialogue. At Fordham, Endy works directly with students in developing opportunities for promoting multifaith and multicultural dialogue, as well as assist them in managing their religious commitments and lives as lawyers. Endy has also an LLM, cum laude, from Fordham Law School, and is admitted to practice in New York. She is a member of the Focolare Movement of the Catholic Church, living in community.
Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard (Scholar-In-Residence)
Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard the Director of Organizational Development at the Jewish think tank CLAL, as well as Meyer Struckmann Professor of Jewish Law at Humboldt Faculty of Law in Berlin. He serves as scholar in residence at the Institute for Law, Religion and Lawyer’s Work at Fordham Law School where he teaches Jewish law. Rabbi Blanchard holds PhD degrees in Philosophy and in Psychology. He has been a university professor, the director of an Orthodox High School and a practicing clinical and organizational psychologist. Tsvi has taught at Washington, Northwestern and Loyola Universities as well as the Drisha Institute for Women. His publications include the 2002 Riesman award winning “How to Think About Being Jewish in the Twenty-First Century: a New Model of Jewish Identity Construction” as well as “How Stories Heal” Tsvi coauthored a book entitled Embracing Life, Facing Death: a Jewish Guide to Palliative Care.
Giovanna Czander (Scholar-In-Residence)
Giovanna Czander holds a BA and MA in Philosophy from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy and a PhD in Theology, with concentration in Biblical Studies from Fordham University, New York. Dr. Czander currently teaches Religious Studies at Dominican University New York and Scripture at Fordham University Graduate School of Religion. She has lectured, taught, and published both in the US and overseas. Her research focuses on the Theology of biblical law, prophetic literature, interfaith dialogue, and pedagogy related to teaching Religious Studies and online teaching. She serves as scholar in residence at the Institute for Law, Religion and Lawyer's Work at Fordham Law School. She is a member of the Focolare Movement's Abba School, an international interdisciplinary study center.
Published articles include "Of Donkeys and Witnesses: Interpolation or Interpretation? The Laws in Exod 23:1-9" (in A Land Like Your Own, Wipf and Stock, 2010) and "The 'Messianic Secret' as Pedagogical Entryway into the Gospel of Mark" (Limina: A Journal of Theology, Winter 2014, St. Joseph's College, ME; online); "The Witness of Two or More in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible" in Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture, Vol. 9, No.2 (2020); "Dialogue of Life: The Focolare Movement's Contribution to the Role of the Laity in Interreligious Dialogue" in Full, Conscious, and Active: Lay Participation in the Church's Dialogue with the World (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Rome, Italy 2020). She contributed a chapter on "Procedural Law" for the Cambridge Companion to Biblical Law and the Hebrew Bible (awaiting publication), and is writing a book of Introduction to Biblical Law. Alongside her own research, Czander has been translating articles and more recently, chapters of a book by Piero Coda, From the Trinity: The Coming of God in Revelation and Theology (Catholic University Press, 2020).
Partners of the Institute include (by alphabetical order):
- The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
- The Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools
- Auburn Theological Seminary
- Cardozo Law School's Program in Jewish Law & Interdisciplinary Studies
- The Communion and Law International Commission
- Center for Ethics Education, Fordham University
- Center on Religion & Culture, Fordham University
- The Conference on Catholic Legal Thought
- The Guild of Catholic Lawyers of the Archdiocese of New York
- Journal of Catholic Legal Studies
- Journal of Law & Religion
- Living City Magazine
- The Louis Finkelstein Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary
- Mirror of Justice
- The Muslim Bar Association of New York
- The National Association of Muslim Lawyer
- Tanenbaum - Combating religious prejudice
The Institute is a member of the Fordham Consortium on Social Justice.