The Center produces leading scholarship in the field of law and religion studies, both in the United States and internationally. For more information on these and other publications of interest, please see the links below and to the left.
Center Director Brett G. Scharffs' paper "Religious Majorities and Restrictions on Religion", now available in pre-publication form, is among the top 10 downloads on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) in two categories: Law & Religion eJournal Top Ten and Political Behavior: Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics eJournal Top Ten.
The paper was first presented in November 2015 at the Notre Dame Law Review Symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dignitatis Humana Declaration on the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedoms in Matters Religious, the Catholic church's landmark document on religious freedom, which arose from the Second Vatican Council in December 1965. Professor Scharffs' paper will appear in Vol. 91 No. 4 of the Notre Dame Law Review, the issue devoted to the Dignitatis Humanae Symposium.
The publishers are pleased to announce the upcoming release (June 2016) of the Brill Enyclopedia of Law and Religion. General Editors of the volume are Gerhard Robbers, currently Minister of Justice for Consumer Protection of Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), and W. Cole Durham, Jr,. Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law and Founding Director of BYU Law School's International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Associate Editor for the work is Donlu Thayer, the Center's Senior Editor.
The editors express deep gratitude to Ashley Isaacson Woolley, whose editorial expertise contributed immeasurably to the completion of the work, and to those Student Fellows and Members of the Student Management Board, as well as other Center Research Associates, who together contributed (in research, writing, and translation) to many of the Encyclopedia's 239 articles. We may note that Professor Robbers, formerly of the University of Trier, Germany... more
Religion and Law in the USA
Elizabeth A. Clark and Brett G. Scharff
International Encyclopaedia of Laws — Religion
Edited by Rik Torfs
Kluwer Law International 2016
A new volume in the renowned multi-volume International Encyclopaedia of Laws, this convenient resource provides systematic information on how the USA deals with the role religion plays or can play in society, the legal status of religious communities and institutions, and the legal interaction among religion, culture, education... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Aspen Publishers / Wolters Kluwer Law & Business are pleased to announce the forthcoming second edition of the casebook Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives, co-authored by ICLRS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. and Associate Director Brett G. Scharffs, with contributions from others at the Center, especially Center Senior Editor, Donlu Thayer. Originally developed for use in English-speaking law-school courses worldwide, the first edition of this groundbreaking work has now been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese for use in training sessions for lawyers and academics in China and Vietnam, and translation of the second edition into Turkish and Burmese is now underway. ... more
Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Center Associate Director and Law School Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, participated the Volume 91 Symposium of the Notre Dame Law Review: Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae. The Symposium opened on November 5, 2015 with an address from Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Bishops of Brownsville, Texas, and continued on November 6 with a series of panel discussions moderated by Hon. Richard Sullivan, Southern District of New York. Professor Scharffs participated on the panel "Examining the History of Digntitatis Humanae and Religious Freedom" with Phillip Muñoz, Notre Dame Law School and Anna Su, University of Toronto Faculty... more
The Oxford Journal of Law and Religion was introduced to the Oxford Journals collection in early 2012. The first issue appeared in print on 1 April 2012, followed by the second issue on 1 October. These issues, along with advance access to the third issue, are available free of charge on the Journal's website. Subsequent issues are available by subscription.
The new journal was developed "in response to the recent proliferation of research and writing on the interaction of law and religion cutting across many disciplines." The launch of the Journal was marked by Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Colloquium, hosted by the Religion and International Relations Programme of the Centre for Christianity and Culture and held 19 April 2012... more
Professor Javier Martínez-Torrón of the Law Faculty of Complutense University in Madrid, and Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, General Reporters for the topic "Religion and the Secular State" for The 18th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, along with Donlu Thayer, project editor, are pleased to announce the publication in final form of the National Reports prepared on this topic.
The Congress is the once-every-four-years meeting of the experts of the International Academy of Comparative Law. The 18th Congress, held in Washington, DC, in July 2010, was the first Congress of this 90-year-old Academy to be held in the United States. The Reports prepared on the the topic... more
The 2013 edition treatise Religious Organizations and the Law is now available. This comprehensive work originated by William W. Bassett, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, has been updated annually since 1997 and in 2012 expanded to 4000 pages in four volumes. The greatly expanded 2nd edition is planned for 2014. The work is co-authored by Professors W. Cole Durham, Jr., and Robert T. Smith, and employs the research assistance of students and staff at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, as well as an outstanding... more
Law, Religion, Constitution: Freedom of Religion, Equal Treatment, and the Law
W. Cole Durham, Jr., Silvio Ferrari, Cristiana Cianitto, and Donlu Thayer, eds.
What is the place assigned to religion in the constitutions of contemporary States? What role is religion expected to perform in the fields that are the object of constitutional regulation? Is separation of religion and politics a necessary precondition for democracy and the rule of law? These questions are addressed in this book through an analysis of the constitutional texts that are in force in different... more
State Responses to Minority Religions
David M. Kirkham, ed.
Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements 2013
The response of states to demands for free exercise of religion or belief varies greatly across the world. In some places, religions come as close as imaginable to autonomous existences with little interference from government. In other cases religion finds itself grinding out a meagre living, if at all, under the jealously watchful eye... more
The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges, edited by Allen D. Hertzke, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, is now available from Oxford University Press. The book's first chapter, "The Status of and Threats to International Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief," was authored by Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS), President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; assisted by Matthew K. Richards, member of the First Amendment & Religious Organizations section and shareholder with the law firm Kirton McConkie; and Donlu D. Thayer, ICLRS Managing Editor and a Case Note Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.... more
Brett G. Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University Law School has published the article "John Banzhaf's Fatwa against Catholic University" in the 10 January 2013 issue of the University of Chicago Divinity School's online publication, Sightings. The article concerns a human rights complaint against Catholic University for not making prayer space available for Muslim students. ... more
Islam and Political-Cultural Europe
W. Cole Durham Jr., David M. Kirkham, Tore Lindholm, eds.
Islam and Political-Cultural Europe identifies the sometimes confusing and often contentious new challenges that arise in daily life and institutions as Islam settles deeper into Europe. Critiquing past and recent assimilation efforts in the fields of education, finance, and security, the contributors offer prospective solutions to diverse contemporary problems. Exploring the interactions... more
Islam, Europe and Emerging Legal Issues
Edited by W. Cole Durham Jr., Rik Torfs, David M. Kirkham, and Christine Scott
Ashgate Publishers 2012
Islam, Europe and Emerging Legal Issues brings together vital analysis of the challenges that Europe poses for an expanding Islam and that Islam poses for Europe, within their ever-evolving religious, legal, and social environments. This book gathers some of the best thinking on Islam and the law affecting current and contested issues that can no longer be... more
In an important contribution to the 10th Anniversary Issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Professor Brett G. Scharffs explores "International Law and the Defamation of Religion Conundrum." Professor Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.
Since the late 1990s, notes Professor Scharffs, there has been a concerted effort by many Muslim-majority countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to incorporate a ban... more
- Ian Leigh & Andrew Hambler: Religious Symbols, Conscience, and the Rights of Others
- Javier Garcia Oliva & Helen Hall: Same-Sex Marriage: An Inevitable Challenge to Religious Liberty
Vol. 2, No. 1 now available online and in print:
- David H. McIlroy : Locke and Rawls on Religious Toleration and Public Reason
- V. Bradley Lewis : Religious Freedom, the Good of Religion and the Common Good: The Challenges of Pluralism, Privilege and the Contraceptive Services Mandate
- Alice Donald : Advancing Debate about Religion or Belief, Equality and Human Rights: Grounds for Optimism?
Papers by Dr. David M. Kirkham, Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Center Associate Director, appear as chapters in Freedom of Religion under Bills of Rights, published January 2012 by the University of Adelaide Press.
Dr. Kirkham's chapter is titled "Political Culture and Freedom of Conscience: A Case Study of Austria." Professor Scharffs contributed "Protecting Religious Freedom: Two Counterintuitive Dialectics in US Free Exercise Jurisprudence." The papers were originally delivered as part of a Center co-sponsored conference "Cultural and Religious Freedom under a Bill of Rights," held at the old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia in August 2009. Center Director Cole Durham also participated in the conference.
The book is available for purchase or for free download here.
Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., and David M. Kirkham, Senior Fellow and Regional Advisor for Europe, authored the section "États-Unis" (United States) in the Dictionnaire du droit des religions (Dictionary of Law and Religion), edited by Francis Messner and released by Editions du CNRS, Paris, France in early 2011. Written by leading French and foreign religion and law experts - theologians, jurists, sociologists - the articles presented here provide an overview as well as comparative perspectives and understanding of key debates and current issues of legal regulation of religious phenomena.
Professor Elizabeth A. Clark, ICLRS Associate Director, contributed the chapter, "Religious Liberty and Religious Minorities in the United States," in the 2010 edition of the Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States, edited by Derek H. Davis and published by Oxford University Press... more
L-R: Cole Durham, Tore Lindholm, Elizabeth Clark.
ICLRS Director Cole Durham and Associate Director Elizabeth Clark, along with ICLRS Academic Advisory Board Member Tore Lindholm of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, participated in the launch of the Russian translation of Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook during events in Moscow and Kyiv on 3 and 5 August 2010. As main speakers at the Moscow event, held at the Slavic Legal Center, Professors Durham, Sewell, and Lindholm were joined in the presentation by discussion moderator Roman Lunkin, director of the Institute of Religion and Law and Senior Scientist, Institute of Europe.... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies announces the publication, in a limited run for authors and reviewers, of the volume Religion and the Secular State / La Religion et l’État laïque: Interim Reports, prepared for and issued upon the occasion of The XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, held 25 - 31 July 2010 in Washington, D.C. The 827-page volume represents the work of the General Reporters for the Congress topic Religion and the Secular State, Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr. Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University and Professor Javier Martínez-Torrón of the Law Faculty of Complutense University in Madrid. Reports were received from 58 reporters, representing... more
ICLRS Associate Director Elizabeth A. Sewell contributed the chapter "Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327 (1987): Addressing Tensions between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses," in Leslie C. Griffin, ed., Law and Religion: Cases in Context (Aspen Press, 2010). Designed to be used... more
Ashgate publishers have announced Law and Religion in the 21st Century: Relations between States and Religious Communities, edited by Silvio Ferrari, Professor of Canon Law, University of Milan, and President, International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Rinaldo Cristofori, Research... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Aspen Publishers / Wolters Kluwer Law & Business are pleased to announce the release of the casebook Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives, co-authored by ICLRS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. and Associate Director Brett G. Scharffs, with contributions from many others at the Center, especially Coordinating Editor Suzanne Sitthichai Disparte. Developed for use in English-speaking law-school courses, the work is dynamic combination of... more
The Center has sponsored the Russian translation and publication of two important reference works in the field of law and religion: Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook and Gerhard Robbers' State and Church in the European Union. The translation of the Deskbook was jointly sponsored by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion and Belief. Both works will provide significant resources... more
Since the publication of the internationally significant work Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook, many appeals for its translation have been made. Consequently, the Center has undertaken the task of translating the deskbook into Indonesian, Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese. The Indonesian Translation has now been published, and the Russian Translation was launched in events in Moscow and Kyiv in early August 2010. The deskbook anthology is designed as a single-volume resource for all who are concerned with facilitating improved global compliance with international standards in freedom of religion or belief (FORB).
The Deskbook's varied and diverse topics are addressed by more than fifty global experts in the field, who provide historical and philosophical background on religious human rights, applicable international norms, and the international procedural mechanisms for safeguarding these norms. The authors cover central areas of controversy, including registration of religious and belief organizations, emerging debates on religion and gender, parental and children’s rights, new religious movements, proselytism, and conscientious objection. Other chapters describe practical approaches to promoting tolerance and understanding through education, inter-religious dialogue, joint religious efforts addressing shared social problems, and conflict resolution initiatives. The volume also provides practical information regarding networking and other background issues that can help translate understanding of the applicable norms and procedures into action. Appendices provide texts of major international instruments on freedom of religion or belief.
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies has sponsored the Russian translation and publication of Gerhard Robbers' State and Church in the European Union. The work includes chapters on each of the church-state systems of the E.U. countries and is a tremendous resource for study of law and religion in Europe. The Russian translation was published in December 2009 by the Institute of Europe under the editorship of Anatoly Krasikov. Launch events, which were attended by scholars, journalists, Orthodox and other religious leaders, and government officials, were... more