LLMs You Never Knew Existed: LLM in Law and Religion

From the ancient days of the Code of Hammurabi to ongoing modern debates over separation of church and state, law and religion are two undeniably powerful driving forces within human society that have always intersected, for better or for worse. Emory University’s LLM in Law and Religion is devoted (no pun intended) to letting international and U.S. law graduates step off the pulpit and into the courtroom to dive into the weighty issues that arise when humankind’s beliefs influence its attempts to order society. The LLM in Law and Religion studies the symbiotic relationship between law and religion, how religion gives law its moral and ethical center and how the law in turn influences religion’s emphases on discipline, order, and justice.

Regardless of whether your personal allegiance lies ultimately with the laws of heaven or the laws of earth, this LLM program allows students of all backgrounds to engage in academic study of topics such as religious liberty, the ways in which religious documents inform our understanding of the law, laws which have grown out of a theological perspective, and how religion plays into societal values and constructs, human rights, and politics. To complete the degree, students must take 12 of their 24 total required credits from offerings that count toward the Emory Law and Religion LLM degree. Students fulfill their degree requirements for the LLM in Law and Religion with interdisciplinary courses that fall into four broad categories:

1) Historical Studies

2) Moral, Methodological, and Philosophical Themes

3) Religion, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom, and

4) Religious Legal Systems.

Topics studied within the realm of Historical Studies include American Legal History, English Legal History, European Legal History, Roman Family Law, and History of Law, Religion, and Family in the West. The Moral, Methodological, and Philosophical Themes section encompasses Law and Morality, Love and Justice, The Morality of Peace and War, Contemporary Theological Ethics, Thomas Aquinas and Law, and Jurisprudence. Courses that fall under the umbrella of Religion, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom include Law, Morality & International Human Rights, Child, Parent & State, Advanced Religious Liberty,and American Constitutional Law: Religion and State. And nearly every major religion can be studied in the Religious Legal Systems section, which includes course offerings in Canon Law, Jewish Law, Book of Deuteronomy, The Ten Commandments, Islamic Law, Islamic Modernism, and Islam and Democracy.

Graduates of the LLM in Law and Religion aren’t relegated to the priesthood or the convent. LLM students can still plan their course of study to fill their electives with prerequisites for the bar exam in order to qualify to practice in the U.S. In fact, the LLM in Law and Religion degree is great preparation for lawyers who intend to work with religious governments, institutions, and communities.

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