Discussion Series 2012

Please click Presenter names to view biographical information and Presentations dates to access available recordings, texts, and PowerPoint presentations.


W. Cole Durham, Jr.

David M. Kirkham

Gary B. Doxey

Elizabeth A. Clark

Brett G. Scharffs

Robert T. Smith


7 March 2012

2 May 2012

13 June 2012

11 July 2012

5 September 2012

5 December 2012

Professor Smith Discusses the Battle over the Meaning of Religious Freedom

Professor Robert Smith, Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, delivered the concluding lecture in the second Religious Freedom Discussion Series. The Lecture, “A Contest of Greatest Importance: The Battle over the Meaning of Religious Freedom,” was delivered on Wednesday, 5 December 2012, at the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah.

The video recording (mp4) of the event, as well as PowerPoint presentation used in the lecture, and the accompanying text, may be downloaded or accessed by clicking the links:   Video Recording     PowerPoint     Text

In an address delivered at BYU-Idaho in October 2009, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated: “There is a battle over the meaning of that freedom. The contest is of eternal importance…

Professor Brett Scharffs Lectures on HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom Issues

Brett G. Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, presented a lecture, “Accommodating Conscience: The HHS Contraception Mandate and the Problems Arising from General and Neutral Laws,” as part of the Center’s Religious Freedom Discussion Series, on 5 September 2012 at Brigham Young University. A video recording (mp4) of the presentation is available for download here

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, where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and worked as a legal assistant at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague. Before teaching at…

Elizabeth Clark Presents Discussion Series Lecture, 11 July 2012

Professor Elizabeth A. Clark, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, presented “Is Religion Different? Should We Care?”: Contemporary Religious Freedom Controversies and Arguments on the Value of Religion” as the third in the 2012 Religious Freedom Discussion Series lectures, on 11 July 2012 at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

The role of religion and religious freedom fills public debate, whether the topic is the religious exemption to the contraception mandate, exemptions for religious employers, or Proposition 8. Much of the debate, however, turns on assumptions about the value of religion and whether…

Discussion Series Lecture by Professor Gary Doxey on Thomas More

Professor Gary B. Doxey delivered the third lecture in the 2012 Religious Freedom Discussion Series,  on Wednesday, 13 June 2012, at Brigham Young University Law School. The subject of Professor Doxey’s lecture was “Sir Thomas More and Religious Liberty.” An audio recording of the lecture, as well as the PowerPoint Presentation accompanying it, are available at the links below.

Professor Doxey – historian, attorney, administrator, and Church leader – serves as Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Latin America, as well as chair of the development committee, of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He also teaches in the History Department at Brigham Young University. He chose for his Discussion Series topic this year a man who has been described as “the most brilliant lawyer of his generation”…

Professor Kirkham Discusses Human Rights, the Constitution, and Religious Liberty

Professor David M. Kirkham addressed the topic “Human Rights, the Constitution, and Religious Liberty” as the second lecture in the International Center for Law and Religion Studies’ 2012 Religious Freedom Discussion Series, held 2 May 2012 at Brigham Young University.

Video recordings of the presentation: wmv  mp4

Dr. Kirkham is Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy at the Center, and Regional Advisor for the European Union and Council of Europe. David Kirkham came to the Center in July 2007 from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he served as Associate Dean and Professor of International…

Durham Delivers Lecture on Important Religious Freedom Employment Cases

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) and president of the International Consortium on Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) opened the second Religious Freedom Discussion Series on 7 March 2012 with a lecture entitled “Hosanna-Tabor and its European Counterparts: Comparative Reflections.” 

On January 11, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the most important religious freedom case to come before the Court in decades. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the Court for the first time reviewed “ministerial exception,” a First…