About John Witte, Jr.
John Witte, Jr., JD (Harvard), is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. A specialist in legal history, marriage law, and religious liberty, he has published over 250 articles, 16 journal symposia, and 31 books.
Recent book titles include: Sex, Marriage and Family Life in John Calvin’s Geneva (Eerdmans, 2005); Modern Christian Teachings on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, 3 vols. (Columbia University Press, 2006); God’s Joust, God’s Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (Eerdmans, 2006); The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Christianity and Law: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2008); The Sins of the Fathers: The Law and Theology of Illegitimacy Reconsidered (Cambridge University Press, 2009); Christianity and Human Rights: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2010); Religion and Human Rights: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012); From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Westminster John Knox Press, 2d ed., 2012); No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Western Case for Monogamy over Polygamy (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2016); Texts and Contexts in Legal History: Essays in Honor of Charles Donahue (The Robbins Collection, 2016); and Christianity and Family Law: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Professor Witte’s writings have appeared in 15 languages, and he has delivered more than 350 public lectures throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Israel, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, and South Africa. With major funding from the Pew, Ford, Lilly, Luce, and McDonald foundations, he has directed 12 major international projects on democracy, human rights, and religious liberty, and on marriage, family, and children. These projects have collectively yielded more than 160 new volumes and 250 public forums around the world. He edits “Emory University Studies in Law and Religion” (Eerdmans) and “Cambridge Law and Christianity Series” (Cambridge University Press). He has been selected twelve times by the Emory law students as the Most Outstanding Professor and has won dozens of other awards and prizes for his teaching and research.
Professor Witte is married to Eliza Ellison, a theologian and mediator. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Education: JD, Harvard University, 1985; BA, Calvin College, 1982