Saint Louis University

Culture, Religion, and Memory

the Saint Louis University Center for Intercultural Studies
and the
Saint Louis University Law School Center for International and Comparative Law

cordially invite you to attend

Invisible Constitutions: Culture, Religion, And Memory

March 1-2, 2012

Saint Louis University School of Law
William H. Kniep Courtroom
3700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Much comparative law scholarship focuses on technical questions of constitutional design, asking for example whether strong presidential or parliamentary systems better serve normatively attractive constitutional goals (separation of powers, federalism, rights enforcement, and so on). Missing from such literature, however, is sufficient discussion of the interpretive risks involved in abstracting constitutional texts from their larger cultural/temporal contexts, not to mention the role that those contexts play in creating constitutional meaning. For example, frameworks of practices, customs, and beliefs, particularly religious beliefs, can serve as invisible sources of constitutional law, social imaginaries that actually perform the role of invisible constitutions. To elaborate, this conference will use Missouri's pending anti-Sharia bill as an entry point for discussing current and past examples of "invisible" constitutions in the comparative context.

For questions, contact Ranya Al-Abboud, ralabbou@slu.edu