Angela Carmella

Professor Angela Carmella

Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D. Harvard Law School | M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School | A.B. Princeton University
  • Contact:

  • [email protected]
  • Tel: 973-642-8843
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Property, Religion and First Amendment, Zoning, Planning and Land Use Policy

Professor Angela Carmella’s intellectual focus is the intersection of law and religion, specifically the First Amendment’s religion clauses, religious land use, and Catholic social thought. Professor Carmella writes and speaks on a wide range of issues, which includes most recently the exercise of religion by for-profit entities, the special concerns of religious non-profits, zoning impacts on religious groups, and the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on religious freedom. She has delivered an Alpheus T. Mason Lecture in Constitutional Law and Political Thought at Princeton University on religious exemptions and the common good, presented work at the American Constitution Society’s Conference on the Religion Clauses in the 21st Century, and organized the first conference of legal scholars to address the complex issues raised when religious institutions file for bankruptcy. Professor Carmella’s interest in articulating religious perspectives on legal issues led to her co-editing a path-breaking collection of essays published by Yale University Press and to her participation in the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion’s Project on Law and Human Nature: the Teachings of Modern Christianity, published by Columbia University Press. She has served as Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, and as a Fellow of Harvard’s Center for the Study of Values in Public Life. Professor Carmella shares her expertise in the religion clauses with the Law School’s Seton Center for Religiously Affiliated NonProfit Corporations. She has served on the Editorial Council of Journal of Church and State and on the Legal Scholars Board of DePaul Law School’s Center for Church/State Studies. Following graduation from Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School, Professor Carmella worked as a real estate associate at Csaplar & Bok in Boston. She came to Seton Hall in 1988, was named a Dean’s Fellow in 2006, and was awarded the Francis P. McQuade Research Fellowship in 2007 and again in 2008. She has been honored with the John Courtney Murray Professorship.



“Agape” and the Life and Work of Robert F. Cochran, Jr., 47 Pepperdine L. Rev (forthcoming 2019)

Catholic Thought on the Common Good: A Place for Establishment Clause Limits to Religious Exercise, 15 St. Thomas Law Journal 101 (2019)

Free Exercise, Conscience, and Compromise, 32 Journal of Law and Religion 8 (2018) (Book Review Roundtable: A Discussion of Brady’s The Distinctiveness of American Religion)

Brennan & Brewbaker’s Christian Legal Thought: Providing an Expansive Foundation for Establishment Clause Understanding, 56 St. John’s Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 39 (2017)

Catholic Institutions in Court: The Religion Clauses and Political-Legal Compromise, 120 West Virginia Law Review 1 (2017)

When Businesses Refuse to Serve for Religious Reasons: Drawing Lines between “Participation” and “Endorsement” in Claims of Moral Complicity, 69 Rutgers University Law Review 1593 (2017)

After Hobby Lobby: The "Religious For-Profit" and the Limits of the Autonomy Doctrine, 80 Missouri Law Review 381 (2015)

Exemptions and the Establishment Clause, 32 Cardozo Law Review 1731 (2011)

Symbolic Religious Expression on Public Property: Implications for the Integrity of Religious Associations, 38 Florida State University Law Review 481 (2011)

Religion-Free Environments in Common Interest Communities, 38 Pepperdine Law Review 57 (2010)

RLUIPA: Linking Religion, Land Use, Ownership and the Common Good, 2 Albany Government Law Review 485 (2009)

Book Review: LAW AND RELIGION by Leslie Griffin, in 23 The Journal of Law and Religion 739 (2008)

Responsible Freedom under the Religion Clauses: Exemptions, Legal Pluralism, and the Common Good, 110 West Virginia Law Review 403 (2007)

Constitutional Arguments in Church Bankruptcies: Why Judicial Discourse About Religion Matters, 29 Seton Hall Legislative Journal 435 (2005)

The Protection of Children and Young People: Catholic and Constitutional Visions of Responsible Freedom, 44 Boston College Law Review 1031 (2003) (An abridged adaptation of this article aapeared in 6 Seton Hall Law 21 (April 2004))

Mary Ann Glendon on Religious Liberty: The Social Nature of the Person and the Public  Nature of Religion, 73 Notre Dame Law Review 1191 (1998)

Religion as Public Resource, 27 Seton Hall Law Review 1225 (1997)

The RFRA Revision of the Free Exercise Clause, 57 Ohio State Law Journal 65 (1996) (with Eugene Gressman)

Liberty and Equality: Paradigms for the Protection of Religious Property Use, 37 Journal of Church and State 573 (1995)

State Constitutional Protection of Religious Exercise: An Emerging Post-Smith Jurisprudence, 1993 Brigham Young Law Review 275 (1993)

A Theological Critique of Free Exercise Jurisprudence, 60 The George Washington Law Review 782 (1992)

Houses of Worship and Religious Liberty: Constitutional Limits to Landmark Preservation and Architectural Review, 36 Villanova Law Review 401 (1991)

Landmark Preservation of Church Property, 34 The Catholic Lawyer 41 (1991) (also reprinted in Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth National Meeting of Diocesan Attorneys, United States Catholic Conference (1990)

Book Review: Real Threat and Mere Shadow: Religious Liberty and the First Amendment by Daniel L. Dreisbach, 8 The Journal of Law and Religion 443 (1990)


Christian Perspectives On Legal Thought, Yale University Press (with Michael W. McConnell and Robert W. Cochran, Jr., eds.) (2001)


Christianity and Property Law, in The Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Law, Oxford University Press (with John Witte Jr. and Rafael Domingo, eds.) (2024)

An Informed Laity: Understanding the Church’s Political and Legal Advocacy, in Voting and Holiness: Catholic Participation in Political Life, Paulist Press 2d ed. (Nicholas Cafardi, ed.) (Forthcoming 2019)

Housing and Hope, in Christianity and Private Law, Cambridge Univ. Press, as part of the Christianity and Law Series (with Paula Franzese) Robert W. Cochran, Jr. and Michael P. Moreland, eds.) (Forthcoming 2019)

Land Use, in Treatise on Law and Religion 504, Cambridge Univ. Press (Scott Idleman and Frank Ravitch, eds.) (2015)

John Courtney Murray, S.J., in The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics and Human Nature, Vol. I. 115, Columbia University Press (John Witte Jr. and Frank Alexander, eds.) (2006) (reproduced in The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism on Law, Politics and Human Nature 181 (Witte and Alexander, eds., Columbia University Press (2007)

John Courtney Murray, S.J. (Selected and Edited Works), in The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics and Human Nature, Vol. II, 68, Columbia University Press (John Witte Jr. and Frank Alexander, eds.) (2006) (reproduced in The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism on Law, Politics and Human Nature 212 (Witte and Alexander, eds.) Columbia University Press (2007)

Land Use Regulation of Churches, in Religious Organizations in the United States: A Study of Identity, Liberty, and the Law 565, Carolina Academic Press (James A. Serritella, ed.) (2006)

A Catholic View of Law and Justice, in Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought 255, Yale University Press (McConnell, Cochran, and Carmella, eds.) (2001)

Everson and Its Progeny: Separation and Non-Discrimination in Tension, in Everson Revisited: Religion, Education, and Law at the Crossroads 103, Rowman & Littlefield (Jo Renée Formicola & Hubert Morken, eds.) (1997)

The Religion Clauses and Acculturated Religious Conduct: Boundaries for the Regulation of Religion, in The Role of Government in Monitoring and Regulating Religion in Public Life 21, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University (James E. Wood, Jr. & Derek Davis, eds.) (1993)


Book Review: A SHORT AND HAPPY GUIDE TO BEING A LAW STUDENT by Paula Franzese, in The Law Teacher (2014)

For-Profit v. Nonprofit: Does Corporate Form Matter? The Question of For-Profit Eligibility for Religious Exemptions under Conscience Statutes and the First Amendment, in Kathleen Boozang, ed., Proceedings of the Symposium: Is a For-Profit Structure a Viable Alternative for Catholic Health Care Ministry? 75 (Seton Hall University School of Law) (2012)

Booknote reviewing "Church-State Issues in America Today: Religion and Government (Vol. 1); Religion, Family and Education (Vol. 2); Religious Convictions and Practices in Public Life (Vol. 3)" (Ann Duncan and Steven Jones, eds.), 34 Religious Studies Review 221 (2008)

Booknote reviewing "Secrets of the Kingdom: Religion and Concealment in the Bush Administration" (Hugh Urban), 34 Religious Studies Review 318 (2008)

Zoning of Religious Uses and Historic Preservation of Religious Buildings, two entries in Religion and American Law: An Encyclopedia 222, 571 (Paul Finkelman, ed., Garland Publishing, 2000)

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act: New Roles for Congress, the President and the Supreme Court in Protecting Religion, Harvard Divinity School (1995) (Religion & Values in Public Life 3(2): 5-7)

Tribute: Celebrating the Career of Eugene Gressman: Tribute to a Colleague, 4 Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal 463 (1994) (with Livingston Baker)

Free Exercise Protection for Church Zoning Issues, Christian Legal Society Quaterly 9 (Spring 1992)


The Resurgent Role of Religious Progressives in the Law and Politics of Religious Liberty


Full list of presentations available in Curriculum Vitae

Law and Religion, Festschrift for Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine Law School (February 2019) (Panelist)

Building Faith: Religious Freedom through Land Use Laws, Co-sponsored by Seton Hall Law School, Office of the U.S. Attorney, and Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (June 2018) (Organizer and Panelist)

Hot Topics: Establishment Clause and Intent, Ninth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable, University of Pennsylvania Law School (June 2018) (Panelist)

Religious Freedom Annual Review: Religious Freedom and the Common Good, Brigham Young Law School (June 2018) (Panelist)

Symposium on Religious Freedom and the Common Good, The University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis (March 2018) (Presenter, The Establishment Clause and the Common Good))