About Stephen L. Carter


Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught since 1982. A prolific writer who has published seven critically acclaimed non-fiction books during the past 20 years, he has helped shape the national debate on issues ranging from the role of religion in our politics and culture to the role of integrity and civility in our daily lives.

Professor Carter received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Yale University. Before joining the Yale faculty, he served as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He also briefly practiced law at a firm in Washington.

Professor Carter’s writings have won praise from across the political spectrum. In 2000 he published God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics, which received admiring reviews. His 1993 book, The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, was lauded by commentators as diverse as Anna Quindlen, William F. Buckley, and former President Bill Clinton. His 1998 book Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy, was praised by, among others, Marian Wright Edelman, the late John Cardinal O’Connor, and former Senator Bill Bradley. His other books include The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998);Integrity (1996); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); and Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991).

Professor Carter is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, where he moderates seminars for executives on values-based leadership. He has received honorary degrees from six schools, including Notre Dame, Colgate, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was the first non-theologian to receive the prestigious Louisville Grawemeyer Award in religion. He publishes widely in law reviews and the popular press, and has been a frequent guest on such television shows as Nightline, The News Hour, and Face the Nation. He is also a columnist for Christianity Today. Professor Carter is  a well published novelist: his first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, spent 11 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and his second novel Jericho Fall was published in 2009.

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