Photo by Page Johnson
Welcome to the Website
of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies
of the J. Reuben Clark Law School
at Brigham Young University
- expanding, deepening, and disseminating knowledge and expertise regarding the interrelationship of law and religion,
- facilitating the growth of networks of scholars, experts, and policy makers involved in the field of religion and law, and
- contributing to law reform processes and broader implementation of principles of religious freedom worldwide.
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University has announced the theme for its 21st annual International Law and Religion Symposium, to be held 5-7 October 2014 in Provo, Utah. Invited delegates will address the theme "Varities of Secularism, Religion and the Law." Please watch this space for more information over the coming months.
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 of the tradeoffs that certain situations seem to demand. Thinking in terms of balancing is natural because sometimes we really do have to give up freedom in order to have more security, and sometimes... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University expresses its deep gratitude to the members of the Student Executive Committee for 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, held at the Law School in during October 6-9, 2013. The success of the Symposium each year is due in large part to the planning and performance of outstanding students from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, who not only volunteer their own time before and during the Symposium as members of this committee, but also recruit and supervise a large number of other students from the Law School and across BYU campus, all of whom make the Symposium an event unparalleled among academic symposia.
The 2013 committee members, acting under the direction of Center Coordinator ... more
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
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.
Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations, and Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief
Report by Lawrence Richard Peterson Jr.
Between October 28 and 30, 2013, Professor Cole Durham of the J. Reuben Clark Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies was involved in events featuring Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief.
On Monday, October 28th, the Canadian Mission to the United Nations hosted a side event on the UN campus moderated by Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom. On Tuesday, Professor Durham attended the UN Committee on Human Rights where Professor Bielefeldt presented his report.
On Wednesday the International Center for Law and Religion Studies co-hosted with the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief a luncheon and panel discussion featuring Professor Bielefeldt. Other panelists were Laksmi Puri, deputy executive director of UN Women, Gulalai Ismail, founder and chairperson of Aware Girls, Margareta Grape, representative to the UN of the World Council of Churches, and Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired.
In each event Professor Bielefeldt referred to his latest report, "Freedom of Religion or Belief and Equality Between Men and Women."... more
Yakov Krotov (Russia) and
Jáder Freire de Macedo, Jr. (Brazil)
Photo by Page Johnson
Photos from the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium held in Provo, Utah, October 6-8, 2013 are now posted on the Symposium 2013 web page. (Please scroll down the page to see the various albums available.)
The collection by Matt Imbler (official BYU Law School Photographer) is now available, as well as photos by other photographersm which are available in separate albums, identified by the photographer's name.
If you have photos to share, please send them (or a link to where they may be found), to Donlu Thayer at email@example.com. Thanks very much to the photographers and to all participants for making Symposium 2013 such an outstanding event for us all.
More than 80 distinguished delegates from more than 40 countries met, along with approximately 200 guests and students at the Twentieth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, held October 6-9, 2013 at the J. Reuben Clark Law School on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Delegates
The theme of this year's conference – "Religion and Human Rights" – was chosen for its timeliness and urgency, and also in acknowledgment of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of the Edict of Milan, the 313 A.D. agreement between the Roman Emperors of the East and the West... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society are honored to announce that Dr. John Graz, Secretary-General of the International Religious Liberty Association, received the 2013 Religious Liberty Award at an Awards Dinner held October 10, 2013, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC.
Those in attendance were also privileged to hear remarks from former senator Gordon Smith, in this event that included an educational program on religious liberty.
The Religious Liberty Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the promotion and preservation... more
Professor Brett G. Scharffs addressed the topic "Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?" at the Religious Freedom Discussion on Wednesday, September 4, at Brigham Young University and via live Webinar. Professor Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs at the BYU Law School.
An internationally recognized scholar and lecturer in the fields of comparative law and religion, philosophy of law, and international business law... more
On June 14, 2013, W. Cole Durham, Jr., in recognition of his contributions as a renowned specialist in constitutional law and religious rights, was awarded its highest honor, Doctor Honoris Causa, from the Faculty of Theology of Ovidius University in Constanta, Romania. Professor Durham is Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS, Brigham Young University) as well as current President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS, Milan). In making the award, the Faculty of Theology noted Professor Durham's extensive... more
J. Reuben Clark Law School Dean James R. Rasband has announced the appointment of Brett G. Scharffs as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, effective July 1, 2013. Professor Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, joined the BYU Law School in 1997. He has been the Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies for the past four years. His scholarly interests include comparative law and religion, philosophy of law, and international business law.
Professor Scharffs is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a B.S.B.A in international business and an M.A. in philosophy. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a B.Phil in philosophy. He received his J. D. from Yale Law School... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies Student Research Fellows for 2013 have completed their summer's work, traveling to and from assignments worldwide and working on research and writing projects both remotely and on campus in Provo. The Center expresses gratitude to these students and looks forward to their ongoing contributions to our work.
Each year the Center welcomes a group of outstanding scholars from the J. Reuben Clark Law School into the Research Fellows program, which involves a five-week summer visiting externship, this year in Salt Lake City and in eleven other locations worldwide,... more
- The recording (wmv format) of the lecture is available here.
- Professor Kirkham's PowerPoint presentation is available here.
Professor Kirkham is 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 and professor in the Department... more
Gary Doxey, Associate Director of BYU's International Center for Law and Religion Studies, is seated far right
Washington, D.C. – (June 27, 2013) For over 10 years, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), in partnership with its Vietnamese country partners have convened government and religious leaders to build consensus about how to best make religious freedom viable and sustainable in Vietnam. Through IGE’s work with government officials and religious organizations, IGE has catalyzed and contributed to sustainable change in the country, developing trusted networks of partners with which to inculcate policies that ensure that people of all faiths and none have full freedom of... more
With deep gratitude for his dedication to furthering its mission and enhancing its work, the International Center for Law and Religion Studies bids farewell to Website Development Manager Marshall Morrise, who for three-and-a-half years has applied his invaluable expertise, experience, and creativity to many of the Center's projects, but particularly to the functionality and capacity of its three websites.
Marshall and his wife, Susan Lorraine Hall Morrise, have now left for a three-year assignment in South Korea, where Marshall serves as President of the newly created Korea Seoul South Mission... more
The 2013 Religious Freedom Discussion Series continued on 8 May with an excellent and informative lecture by Professor Elizabeth Clark, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, which sponsors the series. At the meeting held at noon in the law school and simulcast by Webinar to listeners worldwide, Professor Clark discussed "Converging Challenges to Religious Freedom."
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies announces the third Religious Freedom Discussion Series. The lectures, followed by a brief question & answer period, are held in room 472 JRCB on the campus of Brigham Young University at noon on six Wednesdays each year, and are simulcast by limited-space Webinar to listeners worldwide. The public is invited to attend the lectures in person. For those joining by Webinar, early registration to secure a place is encouraged. Webinar links are available on iclrs.org one week before each lecture.
The right to freedom of religion is increasingly vulnerable worldwide. Recent studies find that 75 percent of the world’s population live under high or very high restrictions on... more