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Image for G20 Interfaith Summit in Istanbul: Religion, Harmony, and Sustainable Development

A Message from the Conference Conveners 

Conference Program (English)  (Turkish)

Conference Presenters / Presentations

Conference Summary (Turkish)

Religion plays a major role in global events, touching issues from medical ethics to cross-border conflicts to macroeconomic trends. However, religion can be misunderstood or even overlooked as a factor in world events and, thus, the contributions faith and religion make to social well-being and policies, which impact national and international communities, are often not recognized.

The 2015 G20 Interfaith Summit, held in Istanbul, Turkey, 16-18 November, brought together opinion leaders, including scholars, lawyers and political leaders, with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue as a substantial contribution to the G20 Economic Forum.

The gathering was designed to showcase the scholarly and societal contributions of various faith traditions and philosophies from around the world, and will create opportunities for communication and relationship building and raise the profile of participating communities, groups, and organizations.

... more
Image for More about Symposium 2015

We are updating the Symposium website with more information, including Session Reports, Presentations, Photos. Many Recordings are also available. And do continue to follow us on Twitter.

Image for Rights Cherished or Freedoms Perished? Symposium in London, 9 November 2015

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Brigham Young University London Centre were among sponsors of a breakfast symposium held Monday 9 November 2015 at the Inns of Court in London, entitled "Rights Cherished or Freedoms Perished? Perspectives on the future of freedom of conscience, religion and belief and freedom of expression."  

Mark Hill QC hosted the event at the Francis Taylor Building, Inner Temple. Speakers were Tim Wilson, Australian Human Rights Commissioner, and Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, Britain’s first on-line only current affairs magazine, and a columnist for the Big Issue in London, the Australian in Sydney and a blogger for the Daily Telegraph. Wilson and O’Neill... more

Image for Protecting Religious Freedom: An Interfaith Invitation

Protecting Religious Freedom: An Interfaith Invitation: Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the consciences of all people. It allows us to think, express, and act upon what we deeply believe. But in many parts of the world, as in the United States, this freedom is eroding. Religious organizations and individuals face increasing restrictions as they participate in the public square, express their beliefs, or serve in society. A panel of local faith leaders and international experts met on 10 November 2015, at the First Baptist Orlando Faith Hall in Orlando, Florida, to... more

Each year the International Center for Law and Religion Studies welcomes a group of outstanding scholars who have completed their first year of study at the J. Reuben Clark Law School into the Research Fellows Program. The program brings the students into the worldwide work of the Center, as they complete internships with the offices of the legal counsels of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City and in many other parts of the world, participate in Center research, writing, and publishing projects, and help to maintain the Center's international web presence.

This year's sixteen fellows have particularly impressive undergraduate records, with majors including philosophy, economics (with an interest in development), political science, business, Russian, interdisciplinary... more

Image for UN Side Event: Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

A series of events under the theme Comparative and International Perspectives against the Background of the Annual Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief was held in New York City on October 22 and 23 in connection with the delivery the Annual Report at the United Nations by Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt.

Following the delivery on Thursday of the Report entitled "The Rights of the Child and His or Her Parents in the Area of Freedom of Religion or Belief", a reception was held honoring Heiner Bielefeldt and discussing the report.

The following day, a panel discussion convened in the morning to discuss Professor Bielefeldt's 2014 report to the UN: "Preventing Violence Committed in the Name of Religion", and another panel in the afternoon discussed the Rapporteur's 2015 report on the rights of the child... more

Image for ICLRS at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies participated in three sessions of the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City. W. Cole Durham, Jr., Center Director, and Brett Scharffs, Associate Director, organized these sessions to discuss religious freedom issues highlighted by Parliament organizers.

Durham moderated the panel Religion, Religious Freedom and Development, featuring

  • Rosalind I.J. Hackett, Professor and Head of Religious Studies and adjunct in Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, 
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Image for Archbishop William E. Lori Receives 2015 International Religious Liberty Award

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies are honored to announce that the Most Reverend William Edward Lori, in presented with the International Religious Liberty Award for 2015. 

Archbishop Lori is Archbishop of the Baltimore Archdiocese and head of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has played a leading role in gathering an interfaith coalition to promote the freedom to exercise one’s faith in both private and public life. 

Religious liberty "is not merely a privilege that the government grants us and so may take away at will, Archbishop Lori observed in an address before Congress in 2011. Religions liberty, rather, "is inherent in our very humanity, hard-wired into each and every one... more

Image for Winners of the 6th Annual Founding Fathers Religious Liberty Writing Contest October 2015

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of Brigham Young University are pleased to announce the winners of the Sixth Annual Founding Fathers Religious Liberty Writing Contest

The following students were honored at an Awards Dinner held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC on 8 October 2015.

First Place:Cash Award of $4000 

  • Nicholas Reaves (University of Virginia School of Law) – "Uniquely Qualified: The Constitutionality of Police and Clergy Alliances"
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Image for 22nd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium:  'Religion, Law, and Social Stability'

The Twenty-second Annual International Law and Religion Symposium was held 4-6 October 2015 on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. This year's delegates — approximately 90 leading scholars, jurists, and political and civil society leaders from 38 countries — joined in exploring issues surrounding the theme Religion, Law, and Social Stability

The Center expresses its gratitude to the distinguished keynote speakers, who also received this year's Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Gunnar Stålsett and Professor David Little opened the conference with excellent and thought-provoking addresses.

The Center is also immensely grateful to all of the distinguished delegates, many of whom made considerable sacrifices to travel long distances to be with us in Provo and Salt Lake City. The depth and breadth of the presentations... more

Image for Symposium 2015: Keynote Speakers Gunnar Stålsett and David Little
L-R: Center Director Cole Durham, BYU President Kevin J Worthen, David Little, Gunnar Stålsett, BYU Law School Dean James R. Rasband

Keynote addresses at the 22nd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, held Sunday evening October 4, 2015, were delivered by Dr. Gunnar Stålsett, Moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders and International President, World Council of Religions for Peace, and Professor David Little, currently a research fellow at Georgetown University's Berkley Center, who was at the time of his retirement in 2009 T.J. Dermot Dunphy Professor of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity, and International Conflict at Harvard... more

Image for Symposium 2015: Distinguished Service Awards to David Little and Gunnar Stålsett

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was honored to present Professor David Little, Emeritus Professor, Harvard Divinity School, and currently Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and Dr. Gunnar Stålsett, Moderator, European Council of Religious Leaders; International President, World Council of Religions for Peace with the Center's Distinguished Service Awards for 2015, at the Opening Session of the 22nd Annual International Law and Religion SymposiumThe award is given to outstanding proponents of the cause of freedom of religion or belief worldwide, and the Center is honored to be able to "celebrate the important role David Little... more

Image for Center Welcomes Blythe Shupe and Sandy Stephenson
Sandy Stephenson, Blythe Shupe

The Center is pleased to welcome Sandy Stephenson and Blythe Shupe. As the new International Advisory Council and Conference Liaison, Sandy will be working closely with the Center’s International Advisory Council and assisting with the Center’s many sponsored and co-sponsored conferences. Blythe will be taking on the Center’s website content, social media, and other communications in her role as Communications Specialist. Both are graduates of Brigham Young University’s Humanities Department, Sandy in Art, Art History, and French, and Blythe in Comparative Literature. Sandy comes to us with experience as a business owner as well as working at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the U.S. Senate. Blythe has spent the last several years in account management within the background screening industry and the technology industry. Both are excited to embark on this new adventure with the Center and to use their talents and experience to further the Center’s mission. 

Image for ICLRS Student Management Board 2015-2016

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is pleased to welcome its Student Management Board for 2015-2016. The members of the board are second- and third-year law students chosen for their interest in law and religion and their expertise in writing, research, editing, languages, and website management. Languages spoken by this year's Management Board students include French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, Turkish, and Hindi. Third-year students selected this year are Ryan AndersenAlex BiggsEva BradyBennett BriggsTara Fitzgerald, Travis HyerJedediah KnightMonique Mullenaux LaingAline Longstaff, Annalee MoserLauren Robins, and Jarvis Yau. Second-year students are Tanner Bean, Lauren FloresRaquel Flores-Vera, Ryan JolleyMichael GoodrichLeilani MaldonadoAbby McKeon, and McKenna Mills