The Center produces leading scholarship in the field of law and religion studies, both in the United States and internationally. For more information on these and other publications of interest, please see the links below and to the left.
From the website of Cardus Law: This critical paper on religious freedom and its relationship to the State by Professor Brett Scharffs of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University poses an important question: why should anyone care about religious freedom? The question here, though, is specifically directed towards those who are indifferent or hostile to, or uninformed about religious freedom.
Prof. Scharffs proceeds to examine a number of the crucial debates around freedom of religion and conscience through both an historical prism and by reviewing recent American jurisprudence... more
Center Director Brett Scharffs paper, "Why Religious Freedom? Why the Religiously Committed, the Religiously Indifferent and Those Hostile to Religion Should Care" has been listed on Social Science Research Network's (SSRN) Top Ten download list in four categories: "Human Rights, Justice for Nonhuman Animals, Ecologies, Environments"; "Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics"; Political Behavior eJournals"; and "U.S. Constitutional Law: Rights & Liberties eJournals".
The paper is available for download on SSRN at this link. The abstract for the paper is below:
Religious freedom: Is it the grandparent of human rights, or the neglected stepchild? As with... more
Center Associate Director Elizabeth Clark contributed a chapter in Religious Freedom and Communities, edited by Dwight Newman and published by LexisNexis in October 2016. The book is a collection of papers that brings together leading experts of a variety of legal, religious and indigenous communities' backgrounds, to provide analytical commentary, of a sort useful to practitioners trying to think through tough questions, on the issues related to community and institutional aspects of religious freedom. According to the editor, the collection seeks to explore "cutting-edge questions related to the community and institutational aspects of religious freedom." It is structured "to be readable as a somewhat cohesive whole, progressing through a series of different approaches and issues."
Professor Clark contributed the chapter "International and Comparative Law Protections of Collective... more
Brett Scharffs, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, contributed to the recently published Religious Liberty: Essays on First Amendment Law. Available from Cambridge University Press, this latest publication from the Wheatley Institution is a collection of essays from leading thinkers on why Freedom of Religion and Conscience are vital to society. It is the third in a series of books published by the Wheatley Institution over the last four years. The book seeks to address modern questions regarding the role and separation of Church and State, and to help citizens answer some of the fundamentally difficult questions about the First Amendment.
Professor Scharffs contributed an essay titled "Our Schizophrenic Attitude Towards Corporate Conscience". Other contributors include Thomas Griffith, Daniel N.... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Aspen Publishers / Wolters Kluwer Law & Business are pleased to announce the forthcoming second edition of the casebook Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives, co-authored by ICLRS Director Brett G. Scharffs and Founding Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., with contributions from others at the Center, especially Center Senior Editor, Donlu Thayer. Originally developed for use in English-speaking law-school courses worldwide, the first edition of this groundbreaking work has now been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese for use in training sessions for lawyers and academics in China and Vietnam, and translation of the second edition into Turkish and Burmese... more
The publishers have announced the release of the Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion. General Editors of this five-volume work are Gerhard Robbers, Professor Emeritus at the University of Trier and formerly Minister of Justice and for Consumer Protection of Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), and W. Cole Durham, Jr,. Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at Brigham Young University and Founding Director of BYU Law School's International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Associate Editor is Donlu Thayer, the Center's Senior Editor, who is also an Associate Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.
The editors acknowledge with deep gratitude the contribution of Ashley Isaacson Woolley, whose editorial expertise, applied to essentially every article, contributed immeasurably and essentially to the completion of the work. A number of people associated with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies... more
The publishers have announced the June 2016 release of Religion and Equality: Law in Conflict, edited by International Center of Law and Religions Studies (ICLRS) Founding Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. and ICLRS Senior Editor Donlu D. Thayer. This long-awaited book is first title in the new ICLARS Series in Law and Religion, published by Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group. Professor Durham, in addition to his role at ICLRS, is second and current President of ICLARS, the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, headquartered in Milan, Italy. The ICLARS Series will officially launch at the Fourth ICLARS Conference, to be held in Oxford, UK, in September 2016.
Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean edited by Alessandro Ferrari and Center Senior fellow, James Toronto has been published as part of the Routledge ICLARS Series on Law and Religion. The volume grew out of the Center co-sponsored conference Religions & Constitutional Transitions, Muslim Mediterranean: "The Pluralistic Moment" held in Como, Itlay in June 2014.
This book investigates the role of Islam and religious freedom in the constitutional transitions of six North African and Middle Eastern countries, namely Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, and Palestine. In particular, the book, with an interdisciplinary approach, investigates the role of Islam as a political, institutional and societal force. Issues covered include... more
The treatise Religious Organizations and the Law is a comprehensive work originated by William W. Bassett, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, has been updated annually since 1997 and in 2012 expanded to 4000 pages in four volumes. The greatly expanded 2nd edition was completed in 2016 and will be published in early 2017. The work has proceeded under the superivision of Robert T. Smith and W. Cole Durham, Jr., and Robert T. Smith, employing the research assistance of students and staff at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham... more
Religion and Law in the USA, by Professors Elizabeth A. Clark and Brett G. Scharffs, has been issued by Kluwer Law International as part of its innovative prints and online series, International Encyclopaedia of Laws. Each volume of the Encyclopaedia is designed to cover an identical set of topics from the legal viewpoint of a particular country. Professors Scharffs and Clark were selected by the editor of the Religion volume, Rik Torfs, Rector at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, to write the United States book on law and religion.
“It is a recognition of the International Center of Law and Religion’s stature in the international law and religion field that we were asked to write the book on the United States as this country has more law and religion scholars than many other countries in the world,” said Professor Scharffs. “The Encyclopaedia... more
Center Director Brett G. Scharffs' paper "Religious Majorities and Restrictions on Religion", in pre-publication form, was (mid May 2016) among the top 10 downloads on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) in two categories: Law & Religion eJournal Top Ten and Political Behavior: Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics eJournal Top Ten... more
Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Center Associate Director and Law School Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, participated the Volume 91 Symposium of the Notre Dame Law Review: Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae. The Symposium opened on November 5, 2015 with an address from Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Bishops of Brownsville, Texas, and continued on November 6 with a series of panel discussions moderated by Hon. Richard Sullivan, Southern District of New York. Professor Scharffs participated on the panel "Examining the History of Digntitatis Humanae and Religious Freedom" with Phillip Muñoz, Notre Dame Law School and Anna Su, University of Toronto Faculty... more
Professor Javier Martínez-Torrón of the Law Faculty of Complutense University in Madrid, and Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, General Reporters for the topic "Religion and the Secular State" for The 18th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, along with Donlu Thayer, project editor, are pleased to announce the publication in final form of the National Reports prepared on this topic.
The Congress is the once-every-four-years meeting of the experts of the International Academy of Comparative Law. The 18th Congress, held in Washington, DC, in July 2010, was the first Congress of this 90-year-old Academy to be held in the United States. The Reports prepared on the the topic... more
Note 25 June 2014: Dean Brett Scharffs' paper Our Fractured Attitude Towards Corporate Conscience, is #1 on the download list of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Human Rights & the Corporation eJournal for the period 26 April 2014 to 13 August 2014. Click here to view the list. Click here to download this important and timely paper.
Brett G. Scharffs, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, presented the paper "Our Fractured Attitude Towards Corporate Conscience" at the Wheatley Institution's Religious Liberty Lecture Series ... more
The Oxford Journal of Law and Religion was introduced to the Oxford Journals collection in early 2012. The first issue appeared in print on 1 April 2012, followed by the second issue on 1 October. These issues, along with advance access to the third issue, are available free of charge on the Journal's website. Subsequent issues are available by subscription.
The new journal was developed "in response to the recent proliferation of research and writing on the interaction of law and religion cutting across many disciplines." The launch of the Journal was marked by Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Colloquium, hosted by the Religion and International Relations Programme of the Centre for Christianity and Culture and held 19 April 2012... more
Law, Religion, Constitution: Freedom of Religion, Equal Treatment, and the Law
W. Cole Durham, Jr., Silvio Ferrari, Cristiana Cianitto, and Donlu Thayer, eds.
What is the place assigned to religion in the constitutions of contemporary States? What role is religion expected to perform in the fields that are the object of constitutional regulation? Is separation of religion and politics a necessary precondition for democracy and the rule of law? These questions are addressed in this book through an analysis of the constitutional texts that are in force in different... more
State Responses to Minority Religions
David M. Kirkham, ed.
Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements 2013
The response of states to demands for free exercise of religion or belief varies greatly across the world. In some places, religions come as close as imaginable to autonomous existences with little interference from government. In other cases religion finds itself grinding out a meagre living, if at all, under the jealously watchful eye... more
The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges, edited by Allen D. Hertzke, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma, is now available from Oxford University Press. The book's first chapter, "The Status of and Threats to International Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief," was authored by Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS), President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; assisted by Matthew K. Richards, member of the First Amendment & Religious Organizations section and shareholder with the law firm Kirton McConkie; and Donlu D. Thayer, ICLRS Managing Editor and a Case Note Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.... more
Brett G. Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University Law School has published the article "John Banzhaf's Fatwa against Catholic University" in the 10 January 2013 issue of the University of Chicago Divinity School's online publication, Sightings. The article concerns a human rights complaint against Catholic University for not making prayer space available for Muslim students. ... more
Islam and Political-Cultural Europe
W. Cole Durham Jr., David M. Kirkham, Tore Lindholm, eds.
Islam and Political-Cultural Europe identifies the sometimes confusing and often contentious new challenges that arise in daily life and institutions as Islam settles deeper into Europe. Critiquing past and recent assimilation efforts in the fields of education, finance, and security, the contributors offer prospective solutions to diverse contemporary problems. Exploring the interactions... more
Islam, Europe and Emerging Legal Issues
Edited by W. Cole Durham Jr., Rik Torfs, David M. Kirkham, and Christine Scott
Islam, Europe and Emerging Legal Issues brings together vital analysis of the challenges that Europe poses for an expanding Islam and that Islam poses for Europe, within their ever-evolving religious, legal, and social environments. This book gathers some of the best thinking on Islam and the law affecting current and contested issues that can no longer be ignored, particularly... more
In an important contribution to the 10th Anniversary Issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Professor Brett G. Scharffs explores "International Law and the Defamation of Religion Conundrum." Professor Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.
Since the late 1990s, notes Professor Scharffs, there has been a concerted effort by many Muslim-majority countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to incorporate a ban... more
Papers by Dr. David M. Kirkham, Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Center Associate Director, appear as chapters in Freedom of Religion under Bills of Rights, published January 2012 by the University of Adelaide Press.
Dr. Kirkham's chapter is titled "Political Culture and Freedom of Conscience: A Case Study of Austria." Professor Scharffs contributed "Protecting Religious Freedom: Two Counterintuitive Dialectics in US Free Exercise Jurisprudence." The papers were originally delivered as part of a Center co-sponsored conference "Cultural and Religious Freedom under a Bill of Rights," held at the old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia in August 2009. Center Director Cole Durham also participated in the conference.
The book is available for purchase or for free download here.
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, has published the article "Four Views of the Citadel: The Consequential Distinction between Secularity and Secularism," in the journal Religion and Human Rights 6 (2011) 109-126.
In this article Professor Scharffs suggests... more
As the concluding speaker at the symposium "Belonging, Families, and Family Law," held 28 January 2011 at the BYU Law School, Professor Brett G. Scharffs delivered a paper "Echoes from the Past: What We Can Learn about Unity, Belonging, and Respecting Differences from the Flag Salute Cases." The symposium proceedings have been now published as Volume 25, No. 2 of the Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law.
In summarizing his paper, Professor Scharffs reiterated recent observations... more
The proceedings of the conference "Civil Religion in the United States and Europe: Four Comparative Perspectives" have been published as Volume 41, Number 4 (2010) of The George Washington International Law Review. The conference, organized by Professor Frederick Mark Gedicks, Guy Anderson Chair & Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, with the assistance of W. Cole Durham, Jr. and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at Brigham Young University... more
Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr., and David M. Kirkham, Senior Fellow and Regional Advisor for Europe, authored the section "États-Unis" (United States) in the Dictionnaire du droit des religions (Dictionary of Law and Religion), edited by Francis Messner and released by Editions du CNRS, Paris, France in early 2011. Written by leading French and foreign religion and law experts - theologians, jurists, sociologists - the articles presented here provide an overview as well as comparative perspectives and understanding of key debates and current issues of legal regulation of religious phenomena.
The Proceedings of the inaugural conference of the St. Johns' University School of Law's Center for Law and Religion, Laïcité in Comparative Perspective, have been published in the St. John’s Journal of Catholic Legal Studies. ICLRS Associate Director Professor Brett Scharffs participated in the panel discussion, which was held at St. John’s Paris Campus on June 11, 2010. The conference brought together scholars from the... more
Professor Elizabeth A. Clark, ICLRS Associate Director, contributed the chapter, "Religious Liberty and Religious Minorities in the United States," in the 2010 edition of the Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States, edited by Derek H. Davis and published by Oxford University Press... more
L-R: Cole Durham, Tore Lindholm, Elizabeth Clark.
ICLRS Director Cole Durham and Associate Director Elizabeth Clark, along with ICLRS Academic Advisory Board Member Tore Lindholm of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, participated in the launch of the Russian translation of Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook during events in Moscow and Kyiv on 3 and 5 August 2010. As main speakers at the Moscow event, held at the Slavic Legal Center, Professors Durham, Sewell, and Lindholm were joined in the presentation by discussion moderator Roman Lunkin, director of the Institute of Religion and Law and Senior Scientist, Institute of Europe.... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies announces the publication, in a limited run for authors and reviewers, of the volume Religion and the Secular State / La Religion et l’État laïque: Interim Reports, prepared for and issued upon the occasion of The XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, held 25 - 31 July 2010 in Washington, D.C. The 827-page volume represents the work of the General Reporters for the Congress topic Religion and the Secular State, Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr. Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University and Professor Javier Martínez-Torrón of the Law Faculty of Complutense University in Madrid. Reports were received from 58 reporters, representing... more
ICLRS Associate Director Elizabeth A. Sewell contributed the chapter "Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327 (1987): Addressing Tensions between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses," in Leslie C. Griffin, ed., Law and Religion: Cases in Context (Aspen Press, 2010). Designed to be used... more
Ashgate publishers have announced Law and Religion in the 21st Century: Relations between States and Religious Communities, edited by Silvio Ferrari, Professor of Canon Law, University of Milan, and President, International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Rinaldo Cristofori, Research... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Aspen Publishers / Wolters Kluwer Law & Business are pleased to announce the release of the casebook Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives, co-authored by ICLRS Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. and Associate Director Brett G. Scharffs, with contributions from many others at the Center, especially Coordinating Editor Suzanne Sitthichai Disparte. Developed for use in English-speaking law-school courses, the work is dynamic combination of... more
The Center has sponsored the Russian translation and publication of two important reference works in the field of law and religion: Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook and Gerhard Robbers' State and Church in the European Union. The translation of the Deskbook was jointly sponsored by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion and Belief. Both works will provide significant resources... more
Since the publication of the internationally significant work Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook, many appeals for its translation have been made. Consequently, the Center has undertaken the task of translating the deskbook into Indonesian, Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese. The Indonesian Translation has now been published, and the Russian Translation was launched in events in Moscow and Kyiv in early August 2010. The deskbook anthology is designed as a single-volume resource for all who are concerned with facilitating improved... more
The International Center for Law and Religion Studies has sponsored the Russian translation and publication of Gerhard Robbers' State and Church in the European Union. The work includes chapters on each of the church-state systems of the E.U. countries and is a tremendous resource for study of law and religion in Europe. The Russian translation was published in December 2009 by the Institute of Europe under the editorship of Anatoly Krasikov. Launch events, which were attended by scholars, journalists, Orthodox and other religious leaders, and government officials, were... more