R. Kent Greenawalt

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R. Kent Greenawalt
Born (1936-06-25) June 25, 1936 (age 82)
Brooklyn, New York
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
Legal philosophy, Civil rights

R. Kent Greenawalt (born June 25, 1936) is a University Professor at Columbia Law School. His primary interests involve constitutional law, especially First Amendment jurisprudence, and legal philosophy.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1958, a B.Phil. from Oxford University in 1960 and an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1963. After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice John Harlan. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1965. Greenawalt married Elaine Pagels in 1995.[1]

Civil Rights[edit]

Like fellow Columbia Law graduates Constance Baker Motley and Jack Greenberg, Greenawalt was heavily involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He spent one summer working for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in Jackson, Mississippi and from 1966-69 served on the Civil Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He was also a member of the Due Process Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1969 to 1971. He then served as Deputy Solicitor General from 1971-72.

Academic career[edit]

Greenawalt has taught at Columbia since 1965 in both the law school and department of philosophy. He has also taught at Princeton University. He was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge (1972–73) and Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1979). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy from 1991-93. He was also the Chief Reporter for revisions to the Model Penal Code in 1970s. [2]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Conflicts of Law and Morality (1987)
  • Religious Convictions and Political Choice (1988)
  • Speech, Crime, and the Uses of Language (1989)
  • Law and Objectivity (1992)
  • Fighting Words (1995)
  • Rationales for Freedom of Speech (1995)
  • Private Consciences and Public Reasons (1995)
  • Does God Belong in Public Schools? (2005)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The New Yorker: Volume 71, Issues 6-13 1995 NOW that Pagels has finished going over the proofs for The Origin of Satan," she is starting to consider her next project. ... That same month, Pagels will marry Kent Greenawalt in an Episcopal church in Princeton.
  2. ^ http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume6_1/Greenawalt-PDF.pdf