The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) will host a conference, “Religion, Democracy, and Equality” next month in Virginia. The conference will be split among Richmond, Williamsburg, and Charlottesville. Seventy law and religion scholars from around the world, including CLR faculty Mark Movsesian and Marc DeGirolami, will participate. The most recent version of the conference program is here.
ICLARS is an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion begun in 2007. Its purpose is to provide a forum for exchange of information, data, and opinions among members, which are then made available to the broader academic community. Currently, ICLARS has members from more than 40 countries.
Congratulations to our friends at Villanova, especially Vice Dean Michael Moreland, on receiving a $200,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to start the Libertas Project, a series of workshops and conferences for academics and policymakers on religious and economic freedom. The National Law Journal has the story here.
This August, Ashgate will publish Legitimizing Human Rights: Secular and Religious Perspectives, edited by Angus J. L. Menuge (Concordia University, Wisconsin). The publisher’s description follows.
When does the exercise of an interest constitute a human right? The contributors to Menuge’s edited collection offer a range of secular and religious responses to this fundamental question of the legitimacy of human rights claims. The first section evaluates the plausibility of natural and transcendent foundations for human rights. A further section explores the nature of religious freedom and the vexed question of its proper limits as it arises in the US, European, and global contexts. The final section explores the pragmatic justification of human rights: how do we motivate the recognition and enforcement of human rights in the real world? This topical book should be of interest to a range of academics from disciplines spanning law, philosophy, religion and politics.
Today, Cambridge University Press publishes Marriage and Divorce in a Multicultural Context: Multi-Tiered Marriage and the Boundaries of Civil Law and Religion, edited by Joel A. Nichols (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota). The publisher’s description follows.
American family law makes two key assumptions: first, that the civil state possesses sole authority over marriage and divorce; and second, that the civil law may contain only one regulatory regime for such matters. These assumptions run counter to the multicultural and religiously plural nature of our society. They are also wrong. This book elaborates how those assumptions are descriptively incorrect, and it begins an important conversation about whether more pluralism in family law is normatively desirable. For example, may couples rely upon religious tribunals (Jewish, Muslim, or otherwise) to decide family law disputes? May couples opt into stricter divorce rules, either through premarital contracts or “covenant marriages?” How should the state respond when couples purport to do these things? Intentionally interdisciplinary and international in scope, this volume contains contributions from fourteen leading scholars. The authors address the provocative question of whether the state must consider sharing its jurisdictional authority with other groups in family law.