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Clifford Ando and Donald Davis, Jr. To Debate Place of Law and Religion in Ancient Rome and India

Clifford Ando and Donald R. Davis Jr. will debate “The Unity of Law and Religion in Ancient Rome and Classical India: Learning From the ‘Other’” on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 12:10 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. in Room 122. The debate is free and open to the public, with lunch provided. It is part of the monthly “Debating Law & Religion” series. 

Clifford Ando is a Professor of Classics, History and Law at the University of Chicago and the author of “Law, Language and Empire in the Roman Tradition” (2011). Donald R. Davis, Jr. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author of “The Spirit of Hindu Law” (2010).

In the debate, they will examine the place of law and religion in ancient Rome and India, which seem to stand as genuine “others” to the contemporary West in their acceptance of continuity between religious and mundane life, between gods and politics. Among the questions they will consider: What role did religion in Rome and India play in the political life of the people and in the formation of their laws, and conversely, how did law and politics structure or intersect with religious institutions and ideas? Also, what are the implications of thinking of law and religion as much more closely connected than modern secularism permits?

For readings on the debate's topic, email  

Launched in spring 2011 and sponsored by the Dean’s Office, “Debating Law & Religion” is a monthly series of lectures at Yale Law School aimed at creating a formal forum to voice and debate diverse views on a broad range of issues relating to law and religion.