Daniel O. Conkle

Daniel O. Conkle

Robert H. McKinney Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law

Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies


  • J.D., Ohio State University, 1979
  • B.A., Ohio State University, 1976

Research interests

  • Religious liberty
  • Religion and law
  • Role of religion in American politics and public life

About Daniel O. Conkle

A member of the IU faculty since 1983, I teach Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Law and Religion. My research addresses constitutional law and theory, religious liberty, and the role of religion in American law, politics, and public life.

I have devoted considerable attention to legal and theoretical questions surrounding the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, as well as related questions of law and public policy. My most recent book, Religion, Law, and the Constitution (2016), provides an analytical and normative framework for understanding and evaluating the Supreme Court’s sometimes controversial decision making in this area.


Religion, Law, and the Constitution (Foundation Press, Concepts and Insights Series, 2016)

Constitutional Law: The Religion Clauses, Second Edition (Foundation Press, Turning Point Series, 2009)

Recent articles & other publications

“Evolving Values, Animus, and Same-Sex Marriage,” 89 Indiana Law Journal 27-42 (2014)

“Religion, Government, and Law in the Contemporary United States,” in The Cambridge History of Religions in America, Vol. III, at 648-73 (Stephen J. Stein, ed.; Cambridge University Press, 2012)

“Religious Truth, Pluralism, and Secularization: The Shaking Foundations of American Religious Liberty,” 32 Cardozo Law Review 1755-80 (2011)

“The Establishment Clause and Religious Expression in Governmental Settings: Four Variables in Search of a Standard,” 110 West Virginia Law Review 315-42 (2007)

“Three Theories of Substantive Due Process,” 85 North Carolina Law Review 63-148 (2006)

“Expression et Symbolisme Religieux dans la Tradition Constitutionnelle Américaine: Neutralité de l’État, Mais Pas Indifférence,” in La Conception Américaine de la Laïcité, at 153-77 (Élisabeth Zoller, ed.; Dalloz, 2005), republished as “Religious Expression and Symbolism in the American Constitutional Tradition: Governmental Neutrality, But Not Indifference,” 13 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 417-43 (2006)

“The Path of American Religious Liberty: From the Original Theology to Formal Neutrality and an Uncertain Future,” 75 Indiana Law Journal 1-36 (2000)

“Secular Fundamentalism, Religious Fundamentalism, and the Search for Truth in Contemporary America,” 12 Journal of Law and Religion 337-70 (1995-96), republished in Law and Religion: A Critical Anthology, at 317-44 (Stephen M. Feldman, ed.; New York University Press, 2000)

"Toward a General Theory of the Establishment Clause,” 82 Northwestern University Law Review 1113-94 (1988), republished in part in The First Amendment: The Establishment of Religion Clause, at 76-82 (Alan Brownstein, ed.; Prometheus Books, 2008)

Recent courses

  • LAW-B513 Constitutional Law I (general survey)
  • LAW-B668 Constitutional Law II (First Amendment)
  • LAW-L799 Law and Religion

Awards & Honors

  • Two-time recipient of law school’s Leon H. Wallace Teaching Award
  • Two-time recipient of Gavel Award for outstanding contributions to graduating law school class
  • Six-time recipient of law school faculty fellowships for outstanding scholarship