The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS)

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) has been heavily involved in the work of the The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) since its founding. ICLARS is an international network of scholars and experts in law and religion begun in 2007 with Professor Silvio Ferrari of the University of Milan as President. The purpose of ICLARS is to provide a forum for exchange of information, data, and opinions among members — at present from more than 40 countries — which can be made available to the broader scientific community. 

Professor Ferrari (now Honorary President) was succeeded in 2011 as ICLARS President by Professor W. Cole Durham. Jr.. who is also Founding Director of ICLRS. Professor Ana María Celis Brunet, Director of the Center of Religious Liberty of the Faculty of Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago), was installed as ICLARS President during the Fourth ICLARS Conference, held in Oxford, UK, in September 2016.

The ICLARS Steering Committee members, past and present, are eminent law and religion scholars from Argentina, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United. ICLRS Director Professor Brett Scharffs was installed as a member of the Steering Committee at the September 2016 meeting, and as Past President, Professor Durham remains a permanent member of the Committee. 

ICLARS organizes and sponsors bi-annual conferences. The 2016 conference in Oxford followed conferences in Milan (2009), Santiago (2011), and Virginia (2013). The proceedings of previous conferences have been made available as Law and Religion in the 21st Century: Relations between States and Religious Communities (Ashgate 2010), Law, Religion, Constitution: Freedom of Religion, Equal Treatment, and the Law (Ashgate 2013), Religion and Equality: Law in Conflict (Routledge 2016), and Religion, Pluralism, and Reconciling Difference (Routledge 2017 forthcoming). Two titles from the Oxford conference are also forthcoming in 2017, edited by Cole Durham, Brett Scharffs, with Donlu Thayer (ICLRS Senior Editor), and Ashley Isaacson Woolley (ICLRS Editorial Associate).

The 2016 conference saw the formal launch of the Routledge ICLARS Series on Law and Religion, with Professors Ferrari and Durham joined by Professors Russell Sandberg. Pieter Coertzen. and Tahir Mahmood as editors, and the Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, edited by Gerhard Robbers, Cole Durham, and Donlu Thayer, with contributions by many ICLARS members.