George honored with religious freedom medal

June 25, 2010, 4:45 p.m.

Princeton legal philosopher and constitutional scholar Robert George has been awarded the Canterbury Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of global religious freedom.

George received the award during the annual dinner of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty June 18 in Washington, D.C.

"We are proud to be conferring the Canterbury Medal on Professor George. In his scholarly and popular writings as well as his public service he has been a brilliant and effective defender of the liberty and the rights of conscience of persons of every tradition of faith," said Kevin Hasson, president of the Becket Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.

Previous Canterbury Medalists include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, philanthropist John Templeton, Rabbi Ronald Sobel of Temple Emanu-El in New York City and Harvard University law professor and diplomat Mary Ann Glendon.

At Princeton, George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, a professor of politics and the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is the author or co-author of several books, including "Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics," "Embryo: A Defense of Human Life," "The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis," "In Defense of Natural Law" and "Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality."

George has served as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. He was a judicial fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He has served on UNESCO's World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, of which he remains a corresponding member, and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Among George's other honors are the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement and the Philip Merrill Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Liberal Arts.