Representatives from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU, including International Advisory Council Chair Duane Madsen, ICLRS Historian Erlyn Madsen, IAC member Linda Nearon, and ICLRS Managing Director Robert T. Smith, participated in a very successful conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during 29-31 January 2010. Addressing “Religion, Law and Governance in Southeast Asia: Comparative Legal Perspectives,” the conference was co-sponsored by the Center in cooperation with the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS), the Faculty of Law of the University of Malaysia, and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of Amity University (India). The conference Keynote Address by YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak was delivered by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Among some 20 presenters at the conference were ICRLS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., and Associate Director Brett G. Scharffs, who delivered papers on “The Role of Religion and Law in Fostering Good Governance” and “Comparative Religion-State Systems,” respectively.
Other experts from Southeast Asian countries, India, Europe, and America discussed such topics as religion-state and majority-minority relations; religion, family, and gender issues; and religious education and youth.