The John Jay Institute today announced that Dr. Peter J. Richards has been appointed as an affiliated scholar. Dr. Richards’ scholarly interests are in international law, historical and natural law jurisprudence, law and religion, and political theology. He also has specialized expertise in military criminal law and tribunals and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve with active duty experience as a prosecutor, defender and staff judge advocate. “The John Jay Institute has a compelling vision and mission to prepare aspiring public servants and I am honored to be a part of it,” said Dr. Richards. “Dr. Richards is a pioneer in the field of theology and law whose scholarship and teaching resonate with our work at the Institute,” said Alan Crippen, President. “His intellectual giftedness as a law scholar coupled with his public service as a military officer present the kind of professional example that will inspire our students.”
When a young law student, Dr. Richards was professionally influenced by the late Harvard University legal historian Harold Berman. Berman’s work oriented Dr. Richards to the areas of law and religion, jurisprudence and international law. Dr. Richards has served as Associate Professor in Theology and Law at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he directed the Center for Law and Theology. Previously he served a one-year fellowship with Harold Berman at the Emory University School of Law, teaching and conducting research in the areas of legal history and international law. He also taught politics and Constitutional Law at the United States Air Force Academy, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Legal Studies.
Dr. Richards’ scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as the Naval War College Review, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law and Religion, and the Journal of Church and State among others. His recent book is Extraordinary Justice: Military Tribunals in Historical and International Context (New York University Press, 2007). He graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a bachelor’s degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies and German (High Distinction Honors). He earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Later Dr. Richards pursued advanced graduate work at Yale Law School where he earned a Master of Laws degree and a Doctor of the Science of Law degree.
The John Jay Institute is the only faith-based, intercollegiate organization in America that is exclusively dedicated to developing principled leaders for public life. The Institute has recently relocated from Colorado to Greater Philadelphia and operates its educational programming in Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.