23rd International Law and Religion Symposium: “Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World”

The 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University opened on Sunday evening, 2 October 2016, with an outstanding keynote address by Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Professor Cole Durham, Founding Director of the Center, presented Professor Bielefeldt with the Center’s Distinguished Service Award, for his outstanding contributions.

This year’s truly remarkable Symposium — “Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World” — brought together 95 invited delegates, including scholars, jurists, political and civil society leaders, and religious leaders and religion policy makers from 45 countries, providing them an important opportunity for engagement on issues of religion, law, and policy. Speakers and panelists explored the relationships among religion, pluralism, and religious rights as they addressed such issues as “Religious Rights and Culture,” Exemptions, Baselines, and Discrimination: Conceptualizing Religious Rights,” and “Minorities, Majorities, and Religious Rights.”

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. &nbsp…

Symposium 2016: Session Recordings and Photos are Available

The recordings and photos of the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World”, are now available. All keynote sessions were recorded in 13 different languages and many of the breakout sessions were translated to multiple languages. Select the language by changing “English” in the upper right corner to the language of choice to filter the selections by language availability. Closed captioning is available on all English language recordings.

The recordings will appear in a slightly different format this year. Rather than breaking the sessions down individually by speaker, there is only one recording per session. If you prefer not to watch an entire presentation, after launching the video, select the chapter icon in the bottom right of the video screen to select the speaker of choice. 

The participant biographies are also available to provide more background on the Symposium delegates and the Photo Album features photos of the various days’ proceedings. 

Additional Symposium information can be found on the Annual Symposium tab. Past symposiums are accessible by selecting the various years on the left hand navigation bar. 

Heiner Bielefeldt Delivers Keynote Address and Receives Service Award at Symposium 2016

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies was honored to welcome Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, who currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, as the keynote speaker at the opening session of the 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium on 2 October 2016. At the same meeting Professor Cole Durham presented Professor Bielefeldt with the Center’s Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the interest of freedom of religion or belief worldwide.

Professor Bielefeldt was appointed to his position as Special Rapporteur on 18 June 2010, and his term of office will continue until November 1, 2016. He holds both a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tübingen and a post-doctoral

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, acting under the direction of Center Associate Director Elizabeth Clark, serve as members of the Student Executive CommitteeThe Center is honored to announce the Committee for the 23nd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: