I am delighted to announce a call for papers for the Religious Legal Theory Conference, now in its fifth year. Mark and I were pleased to host the conference in its second incarnation, where the theme was Religion in Law, Law in Religion.
This year’s conference is being put together by the superb Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory Law School, which is directed by the éminence grise of law and religion, John Witte. The theme this year is A Global Conversation: Exploring Interfaith and International Models for the Interaction of Religion and State. The conference will be held on February 24-25, 2014. Paper proposals are due November 30, 2013, with notification shortly thereafter. Please contact Dr. Mark Goldfeder of Emory Law School with your proposal.
Below the fold, the conference description and details of the call for papers. Read more
Some interesting law & religion stories from around the web this week:
- A brutal attack on Coptic Christians outside a church, in which four people were killed and several more wounded
- The U.S. Air Force Academy may drop a religious reference from an oath cadets take to swear allegiance to the school’s honor code after a challenge by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The story reports that one option under consideration is “dumping the entire honor oath.” UPDATE: This story reports that today the Air Force decided that “So Help Me God” will be “optional”
- The Vatican has suspended Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the bishop of Limburg more commonly known as “the Bishop of Bling” because “he could no longer exercise his episcopal ministry” after running up a 31 million euro bill for a new diocese headquarters. This story reports the national scope of the scandal in light of the church tax system in Germany
- A United Nations Report published on Wednesday details widespread human rights abuses in Iran, including torture, arbitrary arrest, and discrimination against members of minority religious groups in employment and education. The report is here. Iran condemned the report, calling it unfair and politically motivated
- Four Christians were reportedly sentenced in Iran to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine, a violation of Iran’s anti-alcohol law
- Four Tennessee same-sex couples have filed a federal law suit seeking to force Tennessee to recognize their marriages
- In Oklahoma, two men of Native American descent were granted a marriage license through the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribal Court, which does not specify gender in its law and is not subject to state law which prohibits gay marriage
- Buddhist monks at the Labrang Monastery in China complain about intrusive communist government policies that they say are strangling their culture and identity.
- Islamist militants killed at least 6 Tunisian security officers on Wednesday in an attempt to disrupt reconciliation between the Islamist governing party in Tunisia and its more secular opponents.
- Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was christened this past week by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Prince George will eventually hold the official titles of “Defender of the Faith” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England”
This October, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company published Cross and Kremlin: A Brief History of the Orthodox Church in Russia by Thomas Bremer (University of Münster). The publisher’s description follows, and the author writes more about the book here.
Cross and Kremlin uniquely surveys both the history and the contemporary situation of the Russian Orthodox Church. The first chapter gives a concise chronology from the tenth century through the present day. The following chapters highlight several important issues and aspects of Russian Orthodoxy — church-state relations, theology, ecclesiastical structure, monasticism, spirituality, the relation of Russian Orthodoxy to the West, dissidence as a frequent phenomenon in Russian church history, and more.
This November, Oxford University Press will publish Law and Religion in the Eastern Mediterranean: From Antiquity to Early Islam edited by Anselm C. Hagedorn (Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin) and Reinhard G. Kratz (Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen). The publisher’s description follows.
How was it possible that Greeks often wrote their laws on the walls of their temples, but — in contrast to other ancient societies — never transformed these written civic laws into a religious law? Did it matter whether laws were inscribed in stone, clay, or on a scroll? And above all, how did written law shape a society in which the majority population was illiterate?
This volume addresses the similarities and differences in the role played by law and religion in various societies across the Eastern Mediterranean. Bringing together a collection of 14 essays from scholars of the Hebrew Bible, Ancient Greece, the Ancient Near East, Qumran, Elephantine, the Nabateans, and the early Arab world, it also approaches these subjects in an all-encompassing manner, looking in detail at the notion of law and religion in the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole in both the geographical as well as the historical space.