Comparative Constitutional Law, Democracy, Dutch Politics, Law and Religion, Public Theology, Religion and Politics, Whither Europe?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As for so many, 2020 has been unique and, in some ways, a tough year.

Nevertheless, professionally, there are (again) reasons to be thankful.

The following ten highlights may illustrate this:

– the collaboration with Prof. Sophie van Bijsterveld of the Radboud University Nijmegen in the realization of a Dutch-language volume on ideas for state and society inspired by Alexis de Tocqueville, which will hopefully be followed up in English;

– the collaboration with Dr. Patrick Overeem of the Dutch Learned Society for Science and Ethics, the Thijmgenootschap, in the context of the volume Een vitale rechtsstaat, as well as a prospective volume on postliberalism;

– the publication of a blog post on ‘A Natural Law Basis for Human Rights’ for the Emory University’s Center for Law and Religion Canopy Forum, as well as the preparation of a second one on Nigel Biggar’s What’s Wrong with Rights?;

– finishing a chapter on ‘Natural Law and the Future of Human Rights’ for a forthcoming volume with Rutgers University Press on Human Rights at Risk. International Institutions, American Power, and the Future of Dignity co-edited by Dr. Salvador Santino F. Regilme Jr. and Dr. I. Hadiprayitno;

– writing a chapter on ‘Liberal Democracy’ for a prospective Handbook of Public Theology;

– preparations for a panel on institutional religious freedom during the Global Summit in Constitutionalism, chaired by Dr. Alex Deagon of the Queensland University of Technology, Australia;

– the organization of an internal book discussion with faculty and graduate students from my section about Law and Leviathan. Redeeming the Administrative State with the participation of one of its authors, Prof. Adrian Vermeule of Harvard Law School;

– teaching an eight-week tutorial on ‘The American Constitution’ that was followed by a motivated group of Leiden Master’s students in Constitutional and Administrative Law and could be given physically;

– the collaboration with Prof. Ad de Bruijne of the Theological University of Kampen in the development of a course in Law and Politics for the Bachelor track Religion and Society starting from the academic year 2021-2022;

– the ongoing contacts with Trey Dimsdale, J.D. of the First Liberty Institute in Plano, Texas, about possible future collaborations.

I wish all colleagues, collaboration partners, and followers on social media, including Twitter (@hmtennapel), Merry Christmas, and I look forward to continuing our contacts in the new year.


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