Image for Fifth China Certificate Training Program, Beijing, July-August 2014

Report by Jarvis Yau

The 2014 Summer Certificate Training Program on Religion and Rule of Law was held in Beijing, China from July 28 to August 8 this year. The event was co-organized by Pu Shi Institute for Social Science, Peking University School of Law, and the Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Institute for Global Engagement have also sent representatives to provide assistance at the training program. Many prominent scholars around the world were invited to speak at the program and share the results of their research.  

The training covers a wide range of topics including Religion and Education, Business and Religion Freedom, Religion in Public Life and Politics etc. Both English and Chinese versions of... more

Image for Third Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam
Judge Thomas Griffith, Television Interview,
Da Nang, Vietnam, July 2014

Report Bryant Hinckley

In July 2014 the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to co-sponsor the third annual Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam. This year’s program was held in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. Da Nang is the center of commerce and education in central Vietnam. The program featured the top Vietnamese academics dealing with law and religion in their country along with many of the world’s leading academics on the topic. Judge Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Thomas Griffith D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also taught at the event. The Institute for Global Engagement, University... more

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

Report by 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... more

Image for IASJF Symposium 'Family and Religion: Juridical Dimensions'

The International Academy for the Study of the Jurisprudence of the Family ("IASJF") held its seventh international symposium on Monday and Tuesday, June 9-10, 2014, at the Faculty of Law, University of La Coruña, Spain. The symposium focused on "Family and Religion: Juridical Dimensions," addressing the issues related to the topic from a juridical point of view. Selected submitted papers from the 2014 Symposium will be published in the International Journal of the Jurisprudence of the Family.

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 Durham Keynotes Conference: Promoting the Freedom of Religion and Beliefs in ASEAN

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, was the keynote speaker at a Regional consultation on Promoting the Freedom of Religion or Belief in ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 19-20 February 2014. The event was 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, 2013 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 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