Is the separation of church and state part of our law? If so, what does “separation” mean? If not, how should religious Americans bring their faith to the public square? In this course, we will examine competing views of the proper relationship between religion and American public life, from our nation’s founding until today. Through excerpts from political philosophers, Supreme Court cases, and contemporary scholars, we will try to weigh the costs and benefits of the various approaches to answering the persistent questions raised by our First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment clauses.
Tal Fortgang is a law clerk on a federal court in Washington, DC. Since participating in a Tikvah high school fellowship over a decade ago he has remained active in Tikvah programming as a College Summer Honors (Beren) Fellow, a Krauthammer Fellow, a Legal Fellow, and an instructor for various Tikvah educational programs. Additionally, he has held fellowships at the Manhattan Institute, SAPIR, and the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty. He writes frequently on a variety of topics for Commentary, Law & Liberty, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Tal earned an AB in Politics and certificate in Judaic Studies cum laude from Princeton University. He earned his JD from NYU Law, where he was Senior Notes Editor of the Journal of Law & Liberty, a Bradley Fellow, and research assistant for Professor Richard A. Epstein. After his clerkships he is slated to practice appellate and administrative law at a leading Philadelphia law firm.
Meet the Instructor
Courses in our special learning campaign are open to anyone in the community who registers at no cost. The Q&A will be reserved for current high-school students.