The Role of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools in the Renewal of American Democracy

41 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016

See all articles by Bruce Ledewitz

Bruce Ledewitz

Duquesne University - School of Law

Date Written: 2016


American Democracy has broken down. This crisis was on dramatic display in the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Americans are resentful, distrustful and pessimistic. We find it easy to blame “the other side” for the deadlock, mendacity and irresponsibility in American public life. By virtue of their public role, American law schools have an obligation to address the breakdown in order to understand and try to ameliorate it. That task is currently unfulfilled by law schools individually and collectively, which are distracted by marketing and pedagogy. Religious law schools, which retain the traits of normative discourse, mission, Truth and tragic limit to a greater extent than do secular schools, could assume responsibility for the health of American democracy. These schools could begin consideration of the spiritual sources of the nihilism in this culture. There are legitimate theological objections to playing this public role in a rapidly secularizing society. But if these objections are overcome, not only might American Democracy be renewed, so might religion itself.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Religion, Politics, Nihilism, Law Schools

Suggested Citation

Ledewitz, Bruce, The Role of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools in the Renewal of American Democracy (2016). University of Massachusetts Law Review, Forthcoming, Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-04, Available at SSRN:

Bruce Ledewitz (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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