Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

FACULTY WORKSHOP - Varieties of Burden in Religious Accommodation (Anna Su)

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 4:30pm

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public
Co-sponsored the the Penn Department of Religious Studies.
Discussant: Jolyon Thomas (East Asian Languages & Civilizations)

All attendees are encouraged to read Prof. Su's paper, available here.


DETERMINING WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT a substantial burden on religion currently preoccupies the American legal and political milieu because of legal controversies surrounding its health-care statute. But defining what a burden is for the purpose of triggering legal protections for religious freedom has important consequences beyond a single issue.  Professor Su considers and compares the caselaw of the United States, Canada, and the European Court of Human Rights and argues for an expansive understanding of the burden requirement in evaluating religious accommodation claims — an understanding that would encompass the spiritual practices of indigenous peoples and the lands they hold sacred.

ANNA SU is an Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Her primary areas of research include the law and history of international human rights law, U.S. constitutional law (First Amendment), and law and religion. Her research has appeared in the Vanderbilt Law Review, the International Journal of Constitutional Law and the Journal of the History of International Law. Prior to coming to Toronto, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy based in SUNY Buffalo Law School, and a graduate fellowship in ethics with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.She is the author of Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power (2016).