From August 18-19, the University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Law will host a Religious Liberty Conference, entitled “Varieties of Diversity.” The school’s description of the event follows:
The Religious Liberty Conference will examine the varieties of diversity — a mantra of the contemporary age often honoured more in the breach than the observance — and its impact on religion.
The Conference seeks to examine and clarify the ways in which genuine diversity is under threat in the modern world. The conference will resonate with those concerned about civil liberties; whether or not they are themselves religious.
There is a fantastic line up of highly regarded speakers and panelists from the academic world, the legal profession and religious life.
Learn how you can protect religious liberty in Australia:
- How anti-discrimination and same-sex marriage interfere with your freedom to practice your religion.
- Is it appropriate to think of equality without considering religious equality?
- How “safe” is the safe schools program?
- Parental authority and consultation in relation to education.
The Conference will begin with the University’s Annual Religious Liberty Lecture on Thursday 18 August. This year’s lecture will be presented by Iain Benson, Professor of Law at Notre Dame. Iain has also been appointed as an Extraordinary Professor of Law at the University of the Orange Free State in South Africa in recognition of his status as an international constitutional and human rights lawyer, and as a religious liberty expert.
In September, Cambridge University Press will release “Politics of Desecularization: Law and the Minority Question in Pakistan,” by Sadia Saeed (Boston University). The publisher’s description follows:
Over time the Pakistani state has moved from accommodating the Ahmadiyya community as full citizens of the state to forcibly declaring them non-Muslim and eventually criminalizing them for their religious beliefs. Politics of Desecularization deploys the ‘Ahmadi question’ to theorize a core feature of modern public Islam – its contested and unsettled relationship with the nation-state form. It posits that our current understandings of modern religious change have been shaped by a highly limited number of national cases in which states have been successful at arriving at stable ideologies about religion. Pakistan, however, epitomizes polities that are undergoing protracted political and cultural struggles over religion’s proper place in the state. The book’s gripping account shows that these struggles are carried out in social sites as diverse as courts, legislative assemblies, and newspapers. The result in Pakistan has been the emergence of a trajectory of desecularization characterized by official religious nationalism.
In September, Routledge will release “Religions and Constitutional Transitions in the Muslim Mediterranean: The Pluralistic Moment,” edited by Alessandro Ferrari (University of Insubria) and James Toronto (Brigham Young University). The publisher’s description follows:
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: the role played by Islam as a constitutional reference – a “static force” able to strengthen and legitimize the entire constitutional order; Islam as a political reference used by some political parties in their struggle to acquire political power; and Islam as a specific religion that, like other religions in the area, embodies diverse perspectives on the nature and role of religious freedom in society. The volume provides insight about the political dimension of Islam, as used by political forces, as well as the religious dimension of Islam. This provides a new and wider perspective able to take into account the increasing social pluralism of the South-Mediterranean region. By analyzing three different topics – Islam and constitutionalism, religious political parties, and religious freedom – the book offers a dynamic picture of the role played by Islam and religious freedom in the process of state-building in a globalized age in which human rights and pluralism are crucial dimensions.