Symposium on Religion and Bankruptcy

October 11, 2011

The American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, the Center for Bankruptcy Studies, and CLR recently hosted a symposium on “Religion and Bankruptcy: Perspectives Thereon and Treatment Therein” at the Law School.

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From the time of its creation and throughout its evolution, bankruptcy law has affected and been affected by religion. Important aspects of current bankruptcy law, such as the discharge of debt and the exemption of personal property, originated in religious traditions before making their way into secular law. At the same time, religious individuals and institutions are themselves often parties in bankruptcy cases, and a number of Bankruptcy Code provisions specifically address religious matters. Organized by center co-directors Marc DeGirolamiMark MovsesianKeith Sharfman, and G. Ray Warner, the symposium brought together leading bankruptcy experts and thinkers to examine both sides of this relationship and publish their ideas and research in a forthcoming issue of the ABI Law Review.  Symposium participants included:

  • Haider Ala Hamoudi, Associate Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, The Surprising Irrelevance of Islamic Bankruptcy
  • Lyman P. Q. Johnson, Robert O. Bentley Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Debarring Faithless Fiduciaries in Bankruptcy
  • Geoffrey P. Miller, Stuyvesant P. Comfort Professor of Law, Director, Center for Financial Institutions,  New York University School of Law, Law and Economics versus Economic Analysis of Law
  • Theresa J. Pulley Radwan, Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Sword or Shield: Use of Tithing to Establish Nondischargeability of Debt Following Enactment of the Religious Liberties and Charitable Donation Protection Act
  • Steven H. Resnicoff, Professor of Law, Co –Director, Center for Jewish Law and Judaic Studies, DePaul University College of Law, Jewish and American Bankruptcy Law: Their Similarities, Differences, and Interactions
  • Thomas L. Shriner, Jr.,  Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP, Roman Catholic Diocesan Chapter 11 Cases after Stern v. Marshal

“The symposium was a great success and a very appropriate one to hold here at St. John’s,” said Professor Sharfman. “The presentations, papers, and informal interactions were all first rate, and this was also a wonderful learning opportunity for our student editors on the ABI Law Review. We in the bankruptcy program are most grateful to have had the chance to work together with Mark Movsesian and Marc DeGirolami, our distinguished colleagues in the field of law and religion, and we very much appreciate the institutional support from Dean Simons that made this event possible.”

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