Each year since 1994, the Center has hosted a symposium devoted to the discussion of law and religion. By 2015, approximately 1100 government, academic, and religious leaders and visitors from 120 countries had met together to discuss principles of religious liberty and to explore mechanisms to better implement these principles. Details about upcoming and past symposia may be found below and on the pages listed in the left sidebar.

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Welcome to the International Law and Religion Symposium Page
Image for 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World, 2-4 October 2016

In an increasingly pluralistic world, societies and legal systems struggle to articulate the roles religion and religious believers play in their communities.  How should a legal system protect the rights of religious groups and believers?  What role should neutrality, secularism, or dominant religions play in civic life?  How can we articulate the relationship between religious rights and culture, particularly in a time of shifting cultural norms?  How can religious rights best protect religious minorities or religious believers in a pluralistic world?

Leading scholars, jurists, and political and civil society leaders from around the globe will consider these questions and explore the relationships among religion, pluralism, and religious rights at the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University, "Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World," to be held October 2-4, 2016.  

The keynote speaker will be Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Symposium sessions will address such issues as "Religious Rights and Culture," "Exemptions, Baselines, and Discrimination: Conceptualizing Religious Rights," and "Minorities, Majorities, and Religious Rights." Other sessions will examine questions of religious rights and pluralism in regional contexts, with government officials, scholars, and religious and civil society leaders from across the globe.  The Annual Law and Religion Symposium regularly invites 80-90 participants from approximately 40 countries, and provides an important opportunity for religion policy makers, scholars, religious leaders, and others to engage with each other on issues of religion, law, and policy.

Image for Heiner Bielefeldt to Deliver Keynote Address at Symposium 2016

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is honored to announce that Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, will be the keynote speaker at the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, to be held 2-4 October 2016 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Professor Bielefeldt was appointed to his position as Special Rapporteur on 18 June 2010. He holds both a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tübingen and a post-doctoral Habilitation Degree in Philosophy from the University of Bremen... more

Image for Symposium 2016: The Student Executive Committee

The success of the International Law and Religion Symposium each year is due in large part to the planning and performance of a group of outstanding students from the BYU Law School who serve as members of the Student Executive CommitteeThe Center is honored to announce the Committee for the 23nd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium:

... more