Program Director

Frank Ravitch, Program Director, Professor of Law, and Walter H. Stowers Chair of Law and Religion
315 Law College Building
Michigan State University College of Law
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Professor Ravitch's career has included experience in private practice and on Capitol Hill. Since joining the Law College he has authored nine books, and a number of law review articles, essays, book reviews, and book chapters, as well as amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of The Japanese Legal System (West 2018) (with Colin P. Jones), Freedom’s Edge: Religious Freedom, Sexual Freedom, and the Future of America (Cambridge University Press 2016), Religion and the State in American Law (Cambridge Univ. Press 2015) (with Boris Bittker and Scott Idleman), Marketing Creation: The Law and Intelligent Design (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Masters of Illusion: The Supreme Court and the Religion Clauses (NYU Press 2007); Law and Religion: Cases, Materials and Readings (West, 3rd ed. 2015 with Larry Cata Backer) (2nd Ed. West 2007), School Prayer and Discrimination: The Civil Rights of Religious Minorities and Dissenters (Northeastern University Press, 1999 & paperback edition 2001); and Employment Discrimination Law (Prentice Hall, 2005) (with Pamela Sumners and Janis McDonald).

Professor Ravitch's articles, which have appeared in a number of highly regarded journals, have primarily focused on law and religion, including Japanese Law as Religion, but he has also written about civil rights law and disability discrimination.

In 2001, he was named a Fulbright scholar and served on the law faculty at Doshisha University (Japan), where he taught courses relating to U.S. constitutional law and law and religion. He has also served on a Fulbright Review Committee under the auspices of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. Complementing his professional service is his commitment to community service; Professor Ravitch has made dozens of public presentations explaining the law before school groups, community groups, and service clubs and has served as an expert commentator for print and broadcast media. He speaks conversational Japanese.

Koji Takahashi, Professor of Law, Doshisha University Law School
Koji Takahashi is a professor at the Doshisha University Law School in Kyoto, Japan. After completing his LLB and LLM in Kyoto and LLM and PhD in London, he started his full-time career in England. First as a researcher at the Institute of Maritime Law of Southampton University and then as a lecturer at Birmingham University, he taught and researched in various areas of English law. After returning to his native country, Japan, his focus is largely on private international law with a particular attention to Japanese law and comparative law. He has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Private International Law since 2005.


2024 Program Faculty

Frank S. Ravitch, Professor of Law & Walter H. Stowers Chair of Law and Religion - Law & Religion

Jay Klaphake, Chair, Department of Global Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies 

Koji Takahashi - Professor of Law, Doshisha University Law School - International Business Arbitration and Litigation