Reverend Dr. Nathan C. Walker is a First Amendment and human rights educator. As president of 1791 Delegates—a public charity named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified—he manages The Foundation for Religious Literacy and founded ReligionAndPublicLife.org.
Dr. Walker teaches First Amendment law and human rights at Rutgers University and serves as the co-principal investigator with Dr. W. Y. Alice Chan of the Moral Imagination Community. In service to the field, he works as the associate editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal, Religion & Education, as an advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and on the boards of Abolitionist Sanctuary, Public Religion Research Institute, and Utah 3Rs Project. He serves as a member of the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion and served on the writing team of the Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework for the National Council for the Social Studies.
Nate has published five books and various policy reports, including:
‣ The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb (Routledge 2019), which Kirkus Reviews called “a thorough, magisterial account of a timely and historically important legal debate.”
‣ In November 2016, Publishers Weekly listed Nate’s Cultivating Empathy (Skinner House Press 2016) as one of the top “six books for a post-election spiritual detox.”
‣ In endorsing his book Exorcising Preaching, the Rev. Meg Riley says that “Nate Walker is boldly creative—a visionary, on-the-edge kind of thinker.”
‣ Nate co-edited with Michael D. Waggoner The Oxford Handbook on Religion and American Education (Oxford University Press 2018), which Reading Religion called, “An impressive feat bringing order to this topic without sacrificing scope.”
‣ He co-edited with Edwin J. Greenlee the book, Whose God Rules? (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), which Cornel West called “provocative and pioneering.”
‣ He also coauthored with Lyal S. Sunga the policy report, “Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law” (IDLO 2017), which they presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Nate served as a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University and received his Doctorate of Education degree in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees.
Reverend Nate is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and received his Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He spent 15 years serving congregations in New York and Boston, and the last seven as the senior minister of the historic First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Since 2014, he has been serving as the affiliated community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
He lives with his husband Vikram Paralkar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.