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Upcoming Conferences
2014 CEU Conference
2014 Oxford Conference
2014 Africa Conference
2014 Como Conference
2013 Africa Conference
2013 CEU Conference
2013 Latvia Conference
2013 Oxford Conferences
2013 ICLARS Conference
Past Conferences
Upcoming Conferences

The Center sponsors, co-sponsors, and participates in numerous conferences annually. Over the past three years, the Center has helped sponsor and has participated in more than 100 conferences in all parts of the world. These conferences involve government, academic, and religious leaders, and are aimed at making a practical difference in the implementation of religious freedom principles. The Center typically partners with local and international leaders in the field, allowing for diverse viewpoints and backgrounds to be represented in each of the conferences.

Image for Conference: Religious Freedom in a Secular World – 7-9 July 2014

Experts on the law and religious freedom spoke at the conference, "Religious Freedom in a Secular World," at the Brigham Young University Conference Center 7-9 July 2014. This conference provided an up-to-date review of the status of laws impacting religious freedom in the United States and around the world. CLE credit was available for lawyers in attendance.

The faculty of the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and selected experts including William F. Atkin, Thomas C. Berg, Michael W. Durham, Alexander Dushku, J. Clifton Fleming, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Luke Goodrich, Brian Grim, David Hacker, Alan Hurst, Scott Isaacson, Michael A. Jensen, Richard Moon, David Moore, Steven M. Sandberg, Gene Schaerr, Robert Snyder, Lynn Wardle, Robin Fretwell Wilson, addressed the following... more

Image for Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy in Law and Religion 2014

The Second Annual Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy, which took place 23-27 June 2014 at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, UK, was enjoyed by more than 100 participants and presenters from 20 countries. The summer academy is a major international event which brings together leading academics, policy makers, international officials, and practicing lawyers working in the field of law, religion, and international relations. This year's event included a number of parliamentarians and other government officials, editors of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, members of clergy, representatives of NGOs and think-tanks, academics and organizational researchers, as well as students, publishers, journalists, and other visitors.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Member, House of Lords, and Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief of the British Parliament; Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Commissioner, United State Commission on International Religious Freedom; Professor Paul Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology in the... more

Image for 'Religion in a Changing World' – Vladivostok, Russia, 17-19 June 2014

Ryan Andersen

On June 17 through June 19, a seminar entitled "Religion in a Changing World" was held in Vladivostok, Russia. The International Center for Law and Religion at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, the Far-East Federal University’s School of Humanitarian Sciences, the Russian Association for the Study of Religion, and the Slavic Legal Center organized the event. Among those present were representatives of different faiths, local government entities, and members of the press. During the three-day seminar, round-table discussions... more

Image for International Conference: Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law

The conference "Magna Carta, Religion and the Rule of Law", featuring leading experts from Europe and North America, took place at The Temple in London on Saturday 7 June 2014. Conveners of the conference were Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the Temple, and Mark Hill QC, Bencher of the Inner Temple, with Professor Robert Blackburn, Kings College London. The keynote address was given by The Rt Hon. The Lord Judge of Draycote, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. The conference was followed by a participative workshop on the morning of Sunday 8 June to be led by Professor David Kirkham of Brigham Young University. 

Image for Religions & Constitutional Transitions, Muslim Mediterranean: 'The Pluralistic Moment'

The conference Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean: "The Pluralistic Moment" was held 3-5 June 2014 at Insubria University in Como, Italy. Co-sponsored by Insubria's International Center for Religion, Law and Economy in the Mediterranean Area and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, the conference aimed at investigating the role and place of religion in the present constitutional transitions in the Islamic Mediterranean area, paying special attention to experience with rule by Islamic-oriented political parties in recent transitional contexts. The effort was to analyze pressing concerns flowing from increasing pluralism for states, religions, and societies and the consequences for their normative systems.... more

Image for Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good  in Pluralistic Societies

The Second Conference on Law and Religion in Africa took place at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 May 2014. Some 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from 15 countries participated in this conference, focusing on the theme  "Law and Religion in Africa – The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies."

As a major event of the conference, the new African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) was officially launched, with Prof dr Pieter Coertzen as President. Published papers from the First Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, "Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects" – which was held in Legon, Ghana, in 2013 – were made available. 

The conference was opened with welcome addresses by conference organizers Pieter Coertzen and W. Cole Durham, Jr. Keynote addresses were given by Justice Albie Sachs, Emeritus Justice of the Constitutional Court... more

Image for Central European University: 'Varieties of Secularism'

The conference "Varieties of Secularism" was held at Central European University in Budapest on 23-24 May 2014. The conference was co-sponsored by the CEU Legal Studies Department and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies ICLRS of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Speakers at the conference were Renata Uitz, Chair of the CEU Legal Studies Department; W. Cole Durham, Jr. and Brett G. Scharffs, ICLRS Director and Associate Director, as well as Douglas Laycock (US), Iain Benson (South Africa), Joseph David and Asher Maoz (Israel), Andrea Pin (Italy), András Sajó (Judge, European Court of Human Rights), Tahir Mahmood (India), Haldun Gulalp (Turkey), Tore Lindholm (Norway), Louis-Léon Christians (Belgium), and Jeroen Temperman (Netherlands).  

Image for Conference in Indonesia: Promoting the freedom of religion and beliefs in ASEAN

A Regional consultation on Promoting the Freedom of Religion or Belief in ASEAN was held in Jakarta from 19-20 February 2014 hosted by HRWG – Human Rights Working Group, a Coalition of Indonesian NGOs for International Human Rights Advocacy, in partnership with the Indonesian Representative for AICHR, Mr. Rafendi Djamin, and supported by the Canadian Government. Participants included members of AICHR, ACWC, representatives of relevant governmental agencies from ASEAN Member States, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI’s) from Indonesia and the Philippines, Think Tanks and academes, Human Rights NGOs, interfaith dialogue organizations, and religious organization from several ASEAN Member States and representatives from the diplomatic community in Jakarta.... more

Image for David Kirkham Delivers Keynote Address at Religion, Democracy, Law Conference

Professor David Kirkham, Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, delivered the keynote address at the conference "Religion, Democracy and Law", held 15-16 January 2014 at London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.  The title of Professor Kirkham's address was  ‘Democracy and Religion: Happily Married or Destined for Divorce?’ 

Welcoming remarks at the event were given by Professor Tina Beattie, Professor of Catholic... more

Image for The Archon 2nd International Conference on Religious Freedom, Berlin 4-5 December 2013

Professor Cole Durham attended the Second International Conference on Religious Freedom: "Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality in Turkey", held Germany, December 4 and 5, 2013.  This "extraordinary, historic and watershed event" was organized and hosted by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union. The coordination of the local political and church partners was undertaken by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of... more

Image for Islam in the Law: Sharia, Secularism, and Society in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

The Center co-sponsored conference "Islam in the Law: Sharia, Secularism, and Society in the Euro-Mediterranean Region" was held November 7-9 at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. Welcomes by Dean Nisar Messari of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor T. Jeremy Gunn both of Al Akhawayn, were followed by keynote addresses by Professor Olivier Roy, European University Institute, and Tahir Mahmood, Professor of Eminence & Honorary Chair, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Amity International University.

Other speakers were Professors Cole Durham and James Toronto of Brigham Young University; Professor Gerhard... more

Image for Brett Scharffs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2-4 November 2013

ICLRS Associate Director Brett Scharffs participated in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of World Religions China Social Sciences Forum – World Religions and the Dialogue of Civilizations – held in Beijing on November 2-4, 2013. Professor Scharffs addressed the question, "Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?" 

Scharffs noted that public reason as a framework for political dialogue has come to have a force in American and European political thought that might have come as a surprise even to its most articulate contemporary defender... more

Image for China Certificate Training Program Alumni Meet in Beijing
China Training 2012

Alumni from the first four annual Certificate Training Programs in Religion and the Rule of Law gathered in Beijing on Saturday, November 1, 2013, to discuss the future of religion and the rule of law in China and elsewhere in Asia, and to share their recent research. Thirty former participants in the Certificate Training Programs from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 participated in the meeting, which is one of four regional "midyear" conferences being held during October and November in various cities in China. International Center for Law and Religion Studies Associate Director Brett Scharffs participated in the meeting and made a presentation about law and religion fellowships at BYU Law School. A Fifth Certificate Training Program will be held in Beijing in July 2014.

Image for Second Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS, Brigham Young University), in partnership with the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) and the University of Social Science and Humanities (USSH at Vietnam National University Hanoi) hosted the second ten-day certificate training program on "Religion and the Rule of Law" in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, from 16-25 September 2013. This program is designed to systematically build an intellectual infrastructure to help guide the current and emerging generation of Vietnamese scholars, government officials, policy advisors, and religious leaders, as they work to improve policy on religious freedom in their own contexts. The process is intended to provide a network for change, so that these Vietnamese leaders can make the case from within... more

Image for Brett Scharffs Presents on Moving Beyond Balancing at International Symposium on Freedom and Security, Istanbul, 30-31 October 2013

J. Reuben Clark Law School Associate Dean Brett Scharffs presented a paper, Freedom and Security: Beyond the Balancing Metaphor at an International Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey on October 30-31, 2013. The symposium focused on the balance between freedom and security in fighting against terrorism and was sponsored by the Justice Academy of Turkey, and included scholars, journalists, judges, and government officials from around the world. In his paper, Dean Scharffs noted that when freedom and security come into conflict we instinctively turn to metaphors involving balancing to guide our discussions... more

Image for Freedom to Flourish: Is Religious Freedom Necessary for Peace, Prosperity, and Democracy? Berkley Center at Georgetown University, 10 October 2013

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies co-sponsored Day Two of the conference "Freedom to Flourish: Is Religious Freedom Necessary for Peace, Prosperity, and Democracy?" held 10 October 2013 at the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

A Keynote Conversation: Whither the First Freedom? Debating the Current State and Possible Future of Religious Liberty in America, moderated by journalist Jane Little, feature prominent panelists E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, Ross Douthat of the New York... more

Image for Summer Certificate Training Program in China: Religion and the Rule of Law

The fourth Summer Certificate Training Program in China, Religion and the Rule of Law, took palce at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, PRC, July 15-26, 2013. The event was sponsored by The Center for Constitutional and Administrative Law, Peking University Law School; the Pu Shi Institute for Social Science; and the Beijing Foreign Studies University. Cole Durham, Brett Scharffs, and Law Student Carl Hollan attended from Brigham Young University.... more

Image for Conference in Moscow: The Religious Factor in the Socio-Political Life of Modern Russia

The conference "The Religious Factor in the Socio-Political Life of Modern Russia: Religion, and Law in Public Policy" was held in Moscow on 28 May 2013 in the Great Hall of the Academic Council of the Institute of Europe. Organizers of the conference included the Academy of Labor and Social Relations, Department of Sociology and Management of Social Relations and the Center of Religious Study "ReligoPolis" (Moscow, Russia); the Family Center and the International Center of Law and Religious Studies, both of Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA); the Russian Orthodox... more

Image for Brett Scharffs at 'Human Rights and the Islamic World: The Case of Iraq', Istanbul

Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Britham Young University, presented the paper "The Right of Fair Trial and Independence of Judiciary in Iraq" at the International Symposium "Human Rights and Justice in Iraq," held in Istanbul, Turkey 23-24 May 2013.

Among the other international experts particiapting in the Symposium were Av. Necati Ceylan, Secretary-General of the International Union of Lawyers; Prof. Dr. Zekeriya Kurşun, Chairman of ORDAF; Av. Cavit Tatlı, Chairman of Lawyers Association; Prof.... more

Image for Third ICLARS Conference: Religion, Democracy, and Equality, 21-23 August 2013

The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) held its third bi-annual conference—Religion, Democracy, and Equality—August 21-23, 2013 in Virginia, United States. The conference, organized under the direction of the ICLARS Steering Committee, featured presentations by more than 90 international experts. The keynote address was given by Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. 

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, was pleased to play a supportive role in the organization and sponsoring of the conference, under the direction of ICLARS President and ICLRS Director, W. Cole Durham, Jr. 

The organizers of the conference are particularly grateful for the invaluable assistance of attorney Megan Healey Taylor and Southern Virginia University student Nicholas Gaughan, as well as... more

Image for XIII Coloquio del Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa

The Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa held its 13th Annual Colloquium – "Libertad Religiosa, Igualdad y Autonomía de las Entidades Religiosas" – August 19-21, 2013 at Randolph-Macon University near Richmond, Virginia. The conference was sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., who is also President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS, Milan, Italy), was the keynote speaker.

The Conorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa is the foremost academic association for scholars... more

Image for Oxford Conference: International Protection of Religious Freedom, Emerging Issues

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School and the Brigham Young University London Centre sponsored the conference "International Protection of Religious Freedom: Emerging Issues", held at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University, 18-19 June 2013.

This conference was a central event of the inaugural Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy. Among those attending were ICLRS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS, Milan) and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; ICLRS Associate Director and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the J. Reuben Clark Law School Brett G. Scharffs, who is a member of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; and Donlu Thayer, ICLRS Senior Editor and a... more

Image for Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy 2013

The first Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy was held 17-21 June 2013 at Regent's Park College and Harris Manchester College, Oxford, UK. Featured themes of the Academy included religious rights, religious minorities, iinternational law and international relations; law, religion and politics in the Middle East; legal protection of holy places; political theology; and international law and the Christian tradition. Speaking and chairing panels at the Academy were Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Editors-in-Chief Cole Durham and Julian Rivers, as well as Peter Petkoff, the Journal's Managing Director, and Donlu Thayer, Journal Case Note Editor. Other Journal editors attending were Jessica GilesCase Note Editor, Rhodri Jackson, Senior Publisher and Open Editor, and Maxine Daniels, Senior Production Editor.... more

Image for Freedom of Religion Panel and Conference at Central European University, 7-8 June 2013

A panel discussion of issues surrounding church-state relations in Hungary, followed by a conference devoted to discussion freedom of religion and non-discrimination, was held at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 7-8 June 2013. The events were organized by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, United States and Central European University, Legal Studies Department, Hungary. Both events took place in the Popper Room, Nador u. 9, Monument Building, CEU.

The morning of Day One featured two panel discussions on Freedom of Religion and Church State Relations in Hungary: The State of Play After the Fourth Amendment of the Fundamental Law. The first panel (9:00 am), "Freedom of Religion and Church State Relations: The Old and the New Legislative Framework", was chaired by Renáta Uitz (CEU Legal Studies), with panelists Balázs Schanda (Péter Pázmány Catholic University... more

Image for Professor David Kirkham at LARSN Annual Conference

On May 14, 2013, at the annual conference of the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) at Cardiff Law School, University of Cardiff, Wales, Dr. David Kirkham, Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy and Regional Advisor for the European Union and Council of Europe of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, made a presentation entitled "Natural Rights and Natural Wrongs: Liberty, Law and Self-Restraint in the Mostly Secular West." The conference was attended by law and religion scholars from throughout the United Kingdom and numerous foreign countries. Professor Norman Doe, Director of Cardiff Law School's Centre for Law and... more

Image for David Kirkham Keynote Speaker at Armenia State and Church Conference

Professor David M. Kirkham, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, and Professor Ivan Strenski, University of California, Riverside, delivered the keynote addresses at the conference "Models of Relationship of State and Church: Contemporary Tendencies," which took place 10-11 May 2013 at the American University of Armenia in Yerevan. Sponsored by the Collaboration for Democracy Centre under the direction of Stepan Danielyan, and with the support of the US Embassy... more

Image for Side Event about Human Rights in Russia at the UN in Geneva – 29 April 2013

"Unprecedented Repression of Religious Minorities and NGOs in Russia" was the subject of a two-hour side-event organized by Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l (HRWF Int'l), the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies (KCIS) at the United Nations in Geneva on 29 April 2013.

This event focused on recent, unprecedented human rights violations in Russia, particularly where religious liberty is concerned. The meeting was scheduled to take place on the day that the Russian Federation was being reviewed... more

Image for Challenges for Democracy: Religion, Law and Dialogue in the CIS and Baltics

The conference "Challenges for Democracy: Religion, Law and Dialogue in the CIS and Baltics", was held 25-27 April 2013 at the Baltic International Academy in Riga, Latvia. The conference brought together scholars and government leaders from the CIS and Baltics to look at law and religion issues in this region.

The conference organizing committee consisted of Ringolds Balodis, University of Latvia; Elizabeth Clark and Cole Durham, Brigham Young University; Ekaterina Elbakyan, Academy of Labor and Social Relations (Moscow); Merilin Kiviorg, Oxford University; Andrei Tatarchuk, Baltic International Academy; and Renata Uitz, Central European... more

Image for Conference on Law and Religion in Africa — University of Ghana, 14-15 January 2013

A conference on Law and Religion in Africa: Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects was held 14-15 January 2013 at the University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana. Scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierre Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered in Legon for the two-day event.  

The Opening Session of the conference was chaired by Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor and Professor, University of Ghana, and James R. Rasband, Dean and Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. After welcome and introductions by Kofi Quashigah, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, participants were welcomed by Justice Samuel... more