September 30, 2010

Listen to an audio recording of Eric Treene’s talk at the bottom of this page.

AMHERST, Mass. – Eric Treene ’88, special counsel for religious discrimination in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will give a talk titled “Religious Liberty in a Religiously Diverse Society” on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in Cole Assembly Room of Amherst College’s Converse Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Treene has written and lectured widely on the First Amendment and religious freedom and coordinates the Civil Rights Division’s cases involving religious discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public facilities, education and housing; the protection of houses of worship from discrimination in zoning law; the religious rights of inmates and the prosecution of crimes based on religious bias. He also manages the Justice Department’s efforts to protect Muslims, Sikhs, Arab-Americans and Asian-Americans from discrimination and bias crimes resulting from 9/11 and the war on terror. In his talk, he will analyze the current status of religious tolerance in the U.S., put it in historical context and argue that despite serious challenges, the country nonetheless possesses the foundational principles, legal structures and cultural capital to preserve our unique tradition of religious freedom.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Treene was litigation director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an interfaith and nonpartisan public interest law firm in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School and a former law clerk to Chief Judge John M. Walker Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is the author of a number of articles about the First Amendment.

Treene’s lecture is sponsored by Schwemm Fund; the Departments of Religion, Political Science and Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought; the Offices of Religious Life and the President; the Dean of Students; the Center for Community Engagement; the Hermenia T. Gardner Bi-Semester Christian Worship Series; the Multifaith Council; the Multicultural Resource Center; the Colloquium on the American Founding; the Muslim Student Association and the Newman Center.

Listen to an audio recording of this event below, or download the file here.

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