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Law and Religion in Connecticut: From Theocracy to Tolerance

Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


This fall, the CHS is partnering with UCONN Law School to offer a lecture series, The Constitution of 1818: Debate and Dissent in the Land of Steady Habits, to mark the 200th anniversary of the creation of Connecticut’s 1818 state Constitution.

Connecticut’s nickname is the “Constitution State”, but in fact it was almost the last state in the early republic to change its colonial charter to a constitution. Why? This lecture series will examine the ways in which the Constitution of 1818 grew out of a specific historical context: local, national, and international. The speakers will pay special attention to the many ways in which political debates in the past still resonate today.

Though the 1818 Constitution mandated the free exercise of religion in our state, the reality was far more complex, as UCONN School of Law Professor Mark Weston Janis will reveal in this talk. How did Connecticut transition from being a Congregational theocracy to a place of religious toleration with the “free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship?” Join us to find out!

This event takes place at UCONN Law School, in the William R. Davis Courtroom in Starr Hall, Rm. 204. Directions can be found here.

The event is FREE and open to the public, but please RSVP at rsvp@chs.org or by calling 860-236-5621 ext. 238.

About the Speaker

Mark Weston Janis is the William F. Starr Professor of Law at UCONN School of Law. A graduate of Princeton University, Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and Harvard Law School, Professor Janis has been teaching at UCONN Law since 1980. He has authored or co-authored several books on international law and teaches courses in international law, U.S. legal practices, and international human rights.

Support for the 1818 Constitution Lecture Series comes from CT Humanities.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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UConn Hartford
1800 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117 United States
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