As Ronald Dworkin was writing his Einstein lectures “Religion without God,” at New York University (NYU) in the fall of 2011, I was also working in Washington Square, as a fellow of the NYU Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice. On December 8, just a few days before Dworkin delivered the lectures at the University of Bern, I had the opportunity to attend the last session of his famous Colloquium in Legal, Political, and Social Philosophy at Furman Hall. In that session, co-led by his colleague and friend Thomas Nagel, Dworkin presented the manuscript of his Swiss lectures. After the seminar, we had an anticipatory celebration of Dworkin's eightieth birthday, which would take place three days later. And that was the last time I would see Ronald Dworkin—which might explain why I remember in such detail that seminar, in which he talked about religion without God with more spontaneity and improvisation, I imagine, than he would in the Einstein lectures days later.
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