Social Trends Institute Conference – London, 17-19 March 2011

ICRLS Director Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr. joined other international religious freedom experts, in presenting a paper at the conference “Equality, Freedom of Conscience, and the Common Good,” sponsored by Social Trends Institute, London, England, 17-19 March 2011. Durham’s paper, presented in collaboration with Dr. Peter Perkoff of Brunel University, London, was titled “The Importance of Being Discriminating about Discrimination: Paradoxes of Identity Politics.”

Discussions at the conference focused on fundamental questions about the nature of equality and the legal concept of discrimination; recent legislation and judicial decisions (in the UK and abroad) that have the effect of encroaching upon religious beliefs and practices, sometimes on the basis of the proposition that equality forbids discrimination in various areas; and related issues including exemptions from general laws on the basis of religious liberty or conscience.