Santa Clara University



President's Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the President’s Speaker Series is a forum that brings eminent leaders to Santa Clara, providing our students, faculty, and the community an opportunity for intellectual rigor, critical thinking, reflection, and dialogue.

Santa Clara Lecture Series

The Santa Clara Lecture Series is sponsored by the Bannan Institute, which is committed to examining Catholic identity and Jesuit character.

Ethics at Noon

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics sponsors the Ethics at Noon lecture series. These lunch-hour programs provide a forum for SCU faculty members and other experts to explore ethical issues in many fields.

de Saisset Museum

The museum offers several lectures and programs based on current exhibitions.

Bannan Institutes

Mar 14, 2013
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Learning Commons and Library, St. Clare Room
Overflow Room: Harrington Learning Commons, Viewing/Taping Room B

Michael Perry | The Universal Declaration as Sacred Text: Reflections on the Religion of Human Rights

Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education

The ongoing emergence of international human rights in the period from the end of the Second World War to the present can and perhaps should be understood as the emergence of a religion--albeit a profoundly ecumenical religion: one that religious believers of different faith traditions, and also nonbelievers, can and do embrace. On this understanding, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) functions as a sacred text: the sacred foundational text of the religion of human rights.

Michael John Perry is the Robert W. Woodruff University Chair at Emory University, where he teaches in the law school. Before coming to Emory, Perry was the inaugural occupant of the Howard J.Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University (1990-97), where he taught for fifteen years (1982-97). He then held the University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University (1997-2003). Perry began his teaching career at the Ohio State University College of Law (1975-82) and has taught as a visiting professor at several law schools. For three consecutive fall semesters (2009, 2010, 2011), Perry was the University Distinguished Visiting Professor in Law and Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, where he taught an introductory course on international human rights both to law students and to graduate students at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Perry did his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, majoring in philosophy and minoring in theology (A.B., 1968), and studied law at Columbia University (J.D., 1973). In 1973-74, Perry served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein; in 1974-75, he served as law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler. In 1999, Perry was awarded an LL.D. (honoris causa) by St. John?s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Perry specializes in Human Rights and Constitutional Law. He is the author of twelve books and over seventy-five articles and essays. The titles of Perry?s books reflect his particular interests: The Constitution, the Courts, and Human Rights (Yale, 1982); Morality, Politics, and Law (Oxford, 1988); Love and Power: The Role of Religion and Morality in American Politics (Oxford, 1991); The Constitution in the Courts: Law or Politics? (Oxford, 1994); Religion in Politics: Constitutional and Moral Perspectives (Oxford, 1997); The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries (Oxford, 1998); We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court (Oxford, 1999), Under God? Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy (Cambridge, 2003), Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (Cambridge, 2007); Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (Cambridge, 2009); The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy (Cambridge, 2010); and the forthcoming Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States (Cambridge, 2013). Perry is married to Sarah Anne O?Leary, a public health specialist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. They have two sons: Daniel and Gabriel.

More Information
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
(408) 554-6917
Bannan Institutes
Printer-friendly format