Noah Feldman speaks on religion and government


Noah Feldman – one of Esquire magazine’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” Harvard’s Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, and Bloomberg News commentator – will be the featured speaker at Central Congregational Church’s annual Darrell West Lecture Series on Religion and Politics. The event will take place on Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the church.

Feldman’s lecture “Divided by God? Religion and Government in America” will address the tension between Americans’ daily affirmation that worship is central to daily life and the fact that the U.S. Constitution separates church from state. The speech will follow a welcome by series sponsor Darrell M. West, senior vice president of the Brookings Institution, former Brown University professor, and Central Congregational Church member. The evening will conclude with a question-and-answer forum open to the audience and a book signing.

Feldman has become well known for his ability to frame and explain complex and sensitive issues in foreign policy, politics and religion. A former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, he has been called “one of the stars of his generation” by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. He is currently senior adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of seven books, including “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State” (2008), which was excerpted in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and “Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices” (2010), which Publishers Weekly called “a first-rate work of narrative history.” His newest title is “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President” (2017), a sweeping reexamination of one of the founding fathers who helped form and transform the nation.

As the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Feldman specializes in constitutional studies, with emphasis on the relationship between law and religion, constitutional design, and the history of legal theory. He speaks four languages, including Arabic and Hebrew, and he is an expert on Islamic philosophy and law, the separation of church and state, and the United States Supreme Court. His weekly column for Bloomberg News focuses on real-time analysis of today’s major legal cases. Feldman is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School and earned a doctorate in Islamic thought from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

The Darrell West Lecture Series on Religion and Politics provides an open forum on the intersection between religion and politics. Feldman will be the 13th lecturer in the series. Previous speakers have included internationally-known author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Washington Post columnist and Georgetown University professor E.J. Dionne; Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent; Juan Williams, Fox News political analyst; and Dr. Elaine Pagels, renowned Princeton University scholar and author of “The Gnostic Gospels.”

Central Congregational Church is at 296 Angell St., Providence. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information contact 401-331-1960 or go to