The American Society of Comparative Law has announced that the theme of this year’s meeting in Washington in October will be “Comparative Law, Faith & Religion: The Role of Faith in Law.” The Society has issued a call for panels with a deadline of June 1:

Examples of diverse topics that such a conference could address are: (1) historical or modern day attitudes that result in having faith in a legal tradition or developing religious attitudes towards secular texts such as the U.S. constitution; (2) a comparison of secular faith with religious faith in a legal system, perhaps looking at the history and development of western democracies; (3) the role of Christianity in development of common and/or civil law traditions; (4) comparative approaches to legal ethics and the influence of religion on development and implementation of
ethical rules for lawyers and judges; (5) Islamic visions of dispute settlement and the role of Islamic law in modern day commercial arbitration; (6) the role of Catholicism in development of family law in Latin America; (7) Laws of the nation’s secular authority as faithless law; (8) the continuing influence of Hindu “law”; (9) whether there is such a thing as Buddhist law?; (10) the influence of the Talmud on modern western legal systems or (11) the challenge of teaching about religion in a law school setting; etc. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged.

Further details are here.

One thought on “Call for Panels: Comparative Law, Faith & Religion

  1. This is very good and one can’t expect one conference to deal with everything, but it’s too bad it doesn’t also touch upon tribal religion/law, which doesn’t really have the religious-secular dichotomy that we have developed. See e.g. Raymond D. Austin, “Navajo Courts and Navajo Common Law: a Tradition of Tribal Self-Governance” (2009) pg. 40: “Traditional Navajos believe in the interconnectedness of all things, so they do not see law as a set of rules detached from daily life. Every day traditional Navajos live their laws with their spirituality, and to traditionalists, any attempt at distinguishing Dine [Navajo] law from spirituality is an improbable undertaking. All spiritual concepts and practices (what non-Indians call religion) are intertwined with the secular into the Dine Life Way, which, according to the Dine Fundamental Laws, is holistic.” (Footnote omitted.) I am not finished with the book yet, but it is fascinating to see how Navajo judges and public officials are making Dine Fundamental Laws the basis for their decision making.

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