Call for Panels: Comparative Law, Faith & Religion

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.

Call for Papers: Student Writing Competition on Religious Liberty

For law students finishing up notes and term papers on religious liberty, here is a great way to publicize your work and win a prize to boot. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU is running the eighth annual Religious Liberty Student Writing Competition. The top prize is a $4000 cash award. Here are the details:

Purpose: To promote legal and academic studies in the field of religious liberty by law students and students pursuing related graduate studies. Students who have graduated from law school but who are not yet practicing law due to clerkships or other similar pursuits are also invited to submit papers.

Form: Scholarly paper relating to the topic of domestic or international religious liberty, broadly or narrowly construed, consisting of 9,000-13,000 words, including footnotes. Eligible papers must be typed, thoroughly cited and presented in a format suitable for publication, with no additional editing required. Papers must conform to Bluebook requirements and may include footnotes. Papers prepared for academic coursework are permitted.

Submission: All papers must be submitted on or before July 1, 2017. Papers should be submitted by e-mail to papers@ jrclsdc.org in pdf and/or docx formats. The cover email should note the word count of the paper being submitted. A current resume should also be included. You will receive e-mail confirmation of your submission. Questions regarding submission may be directed to papers@jrclsdc.org.

The deadline is July 1. Further information may be found here.

Call for Papers – Conference on Public Life and Religious Diversity (Nov. 2016)

The Department of Politics and International Relations and Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford have issued a call for papers for an upcoming conference.  Proposals are due November 30, 2016.  The conference itself will be held on September 7-9, 2017.

From the conference organizers:

We invite proposals for presentations in the following panel sessions:

Andrew March, chair: Private and public ethics. Possible topics include: controversies about forms of establishment, the limits of legislation, exemptions for economic, cultural, and social institutions.

Stephen Macedo, chair: Religious diversity and education. Possible topics include: controversies about separation and integration in education, curriculum debates, the nature and limits of public authority, and student and parental freedom.

Lisa Fishbayn and Sylvia Neil, chair and discussant: Gender, sexuality and religion. Possible topics include: controversies over reproductive rights, marriage, sexual culture, religious feminisms, religious justifications of discrimination.

Jocelyn Maclure, chair: Accommodation of religious diversity in democratic polities. Possible topics include: religion as justification of legislation, exemptions, legal recognition; questions of democratic majoritarianism.

We also welcome proposals for papers that aim to explore new research avenues related to religious diversity and public life. Possible topics include: the ethics and politics of interfaith relations; concepts of religious moderation, extremism, fundamentalism, radicalization; public ethics in contexts of antagonism or separation.

Please send us:

A proposal of about 300 words including title, prepared for blind review

A separate document including your name, paper title, your institutional affiliation, and full contact details.

Further details are available here. (H/T: Rick Garnett)

Call for Papers – The Religion & Law Review

The Religion & Law Review, a new journal for early scholars, has issued a call for papers, as well as a call for editors and peer reviewers.  The Review’s description follows:

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The Religion & Law Review (RLR) was born to aid early scholars. The RLR is an academic space where articles, book reviews, blog posts, and other content explore the intersection between religion and law in an approachable, international, and interdisciplinary format. In particular, the Review will consist of a triannual publication of submitted articles from early scholars accepted through a double-blind peer review process. Through a scholastic and faculty benefactor the RLR is able to offer prizes to the top two papers in our first publication. Upon the conferral of the Editorial Committee $100 will be awarded to the top paper and $50 for the runner-up. A Call for Papers will open on November 1st. See http://www.religion.legal to join our editorial and peer review team before October 2nd.

The RLR is also asking for scholars, professionals, and academics to answer a survey on religion & law. The survey submissions thus far have included guidance on research, the job market, new trends, role models of old, and more. The results will be synthesized into an article to introduce our first volume.

To apply for an editorial position, click here.

To submit an application for the Peer Review Committee, click here.

To submit a paper, click here.

New Journal – Call for Papers – Brill Perspectives in Law and Religion

Brill Publishers, in cooperation with the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, has announced the publication of a new journal, Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion.  Brill has also issued a call for papers. The publisher’s description follows:

Legal issues concerning religion increasingly make the news headlines these days. As a result, the intersection of law and religion is today an established but growing field 36835of scholarship worldwide. Just as the burgeoning field whose name it shares, Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion seeks better to understand how the phenomena of law and religion interact and to stimulate practical debate on the diverse range of issues involved. The place of religion in society, religious pluralism, the fear of religious extremism, and the terms and limits of religious freedom generate a host of important questions on the interface of law and religion. In response, law and religion scholars themselves recognise the need for interdisciplinary approaches to this developing field. Secular laws on religion, at the international and national levels, as well as their historical, political, philosophical, sociological, and comparative analysis, all form part of the canon of law and religion. Alongside these are the religious laws and other regulatory entities of religious traditions and organisations, all shaped by their distinct theological postures.

Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion encourages the publication of studies of the highest quality, for scholarly analysis and for public debate, associated with the regulation of religion in society and the regulation of the internal life of religious traditions. Its primary readership includes academics, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, educators, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Each issue consists of one uniquely focused article of 50-100 pages. To facilitate the efforts of researchers and educators alike, each journal issue will also be available as a book in both print and electronic format.

Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion is published in close cooperation with the Cardiff University Centre for Law and Religion.

Call for Papers: Religious Perspectives on the Rule of Law at Bar-Ilan

A call for papers for a conference dealing with a interesting topic, via my friend Professor Michael Helfand.

Journal of Law, Religion & State

International Conference

Rule of Law – Religious Perspectives

Call for Papers

The encounter of religion with the rule of law may generate tension but also mutual inspiration. The rule of law implies law’s supremacy over other normative systems and personal commitments. It also implies that law applies to everyone equally. Religion represents a normative system that may in some areas be different from—and stand in opposition to—state law. Religion may deny the supremacy of state law and pose divine law as supreme instead. It may, alternatively, seek exemptions from state law in those matters where the two conflict.

In this conference we seek to study this tension and discuss the following questions:

  • Does religion (in general or a specific religion) accept the rule of state law?
  • What are the boundaries (if any) of such acceptance?
  • In what cases would religion challenge state law and in what cases would it seek exemptions?
  • Can a policy of multiculturalism and of legal pluralism, which give more room to religious freedom, be reconciled with the rule of law or does it undermine it?
  • What other policies should states follow in response to these tensions?

Religion may not only compete with state law but also inspire it, which leads us to investigate religion’s various understandings of the rule of law. Here is just one example. The concept of law in the context of the rule of law is ambiguous and open to different interpretations. Some (positivists) understand law as a set of rules fixed by social institutions, and others (natural law advocates) understand law as if it includes fundamental principles of justice and morality. Religions may take a position in that debate and contribute not only to the abstract understanding of law, but also to the identification of those moral principles that are part of law. We therefore also plan to explore the following:

  • What is the position of religion with regard to the concept of law and the rule of law?
  • Many religions developed partial or comprehensive legal systems of their own. Did religions also develop a concept of rule of law? What is its scope and meaning?
  • The concept of rule of law also may be used in theological context as a metaphor to understand the boundaries of divine actions and intervention in the world. Is God constrained by law—and by what kind of law: law of nature, morality?

These and similar questions will be discussed in an international conference that will be held at Bar-Ilan University School of Law, Ramat-Gan, Israel, on November 20-22, 2016.

Submissions are invited on the themes outlined above. An abstract of 500 (max.) words should be sent to jlrs@biu.ac.il no later than­­­­­­ April 15, 2016. Please indicate academic affiliation and attach a short CV. The conference committee will notify applicants of papers acceptance by the beginning of June, 2016. The participants will be required to submit a first (full) draft of their papers three weeks before the conference. The final papers will be published in the Journal of Law Religion and State subject to review.

The organizing committee:

Dr. Haim Shapira, Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Prof. Michael Helfand, Faculty of Law, Pepperdine University, USA

Prof. Zvi Zohar, Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

JLRS website:

http://www.brill.com/publications/journals/journal-law-religion-and-state

Call for Papers: Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law

The University of Zurich is soliciting papers for its Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL).  The Journal is seeking a wide range of unpublished scholarly submissions dealing with Middle Eastern and Islamic law from interdisciplinary perspectives:

The Editors … cordially invite both recognized authorities and younger experts in law, as well as related disciplines, and legal practitioners to take part in this discourse by submitting papers dealing with Middle Eastern and Islamic law from a variety of perspectives, and hence reflect Islam’s variety itself. We further encourage scholars to present interdisciplinary research in which law, both Shari’a and secular, is brought face to face with not strictly legal disciplines such as social and political sciences, religion and economics, in order to further a comprehensive understanding of the simultaneity of persistence and change in the area of Islamic and Middle Eastern law in a wider context.

EJIMEL welcomes a wide range of unpublished scholarly submissions such as articles, commentaries, reports on contemporary developments, book reviews, judgments as well as notes on recent legislation, case law and guidelines on future changes from the targeted law orders.

Further information and guidelines can be found here.

Call for Papers: “Regulating Religion: Normativity and Change at the Intersection of Law and Religion”

NUSThe Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore is soliciting papers for its upcoming conference, “Regulating Religion: Normativity and Change at the Intersection of Law and Religion.”   The conference will be held December 14-15, 2015.  A description of the conference follows:

In most eras and cultures, law and religion relate dialectically. Every major religious tradition strives to come to terms with law by striking a balance between the worldly and the spiritual, the structural and the mystical, the rational and the sacred. Every major legal tradition struggles to align its formal structures and processes with the beliefs and values of its people. Thus, while law and religion can be conceptualized as distinct spheres of human life, they do not exist independently but are constantly interacting with and influencing each other.

This workshop will engage emerging scholarship on the influence of religion on legal systems, both historically and currently, and vice versa. Regulation is our key focus. In simplest terms, we will consider how law regulates religion, and how religion responds to such regulations. The more complex question we ask is how the normativity becomes diversified and drives the regulatory dialectics between law and religion after the institutional development of the latter two. The workshop seeks to approach this question in three streams:

  1. Socio-political norms regulating religion. What social and political assumptions are we making when we make claims about the legitimate role of religion in public debate? What overarching social and political goals underlie how the law deals with issues of freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression? With the resurgence of religion into issues of public debate, how might religious considerations influence the formulation of contemporary legal norms, if at all?
  2. Constitutional and legal norms regulating religion. What can we learn from the different constitutional legal experiences and contexts of Asia and other parts of the world, given the importance of constitutional structures in framing, defining and governing the interactions of religion and law? What alternative models of arranging state and religion exist vis-à-vis the dominant constitutional model separating state from religion? How has the resurgence of public religion opened up the area of constitutional thinking?
  3. Religious norms regulating religion. What type of legal structures do religions have? How do religious traditions and communities perceive their interaction with religious laws? What demands do such internal rules make upon their religious faith and worship? Are all traditions ‘religio-legal’, i.e., as having claims that take the form of law over their adherents and others? What varying forms do they take? How do believers negotiate these internal rules and how can religious traditions change within this legal framework?

Information on the conference and paper submission guidelines can be found here.

Call for Papers: The Legitimate Scope of Religious Establishment (March 7-9, 2016)

The Fondazione Studium Generale Marcianum in Venice has issued a call for papers for a conference, “The Legitimate Scope of Religious Establishment, to take place on March 7-9, 2016:

 How best to deal with the relationship between law and religion is one of the fundamental questions that every liberal democratic country must encounter. Comparative constitutionalism worldwide sees a large spectrum of state and religion models. The American model of separation, for instance, is an exception in liberal-democratic countries, where one can find a variety of ways in which religions get support from the state. In some democracies there is even explicit acknowledgement of one religion as the official religion of the state.

While it is clear that most democracies reject the idea that religion should be privatized, one is still hard pressed to ask: What are the essential features of establishment regimes? Should any limits be set to the establishment of religion? Are there any means of support that should necessarily be ruled out? May a decent state grant preferential treatment to one religion over other religions (or some of them)? If so, on what legitimate basis could this be done, and in what ways?

This workshop will be devoted to a discussion of these questions and other related topics. We are especially focused on papers that address normative questions about establishment of religion from a particular point of view, but comparative papers are welcome too. The keynote speaker will be Prof. Joseph Weiler.

Scholars are invited to submit a 2-3 page abstract (double-spaced) by April 15th, 2015. Abstracts will be evaluated by the organizing committee and decisions made in May 2015. Please direct all abstracts and queries to: gideon.sapir@biu.ac.il or andrea.pin@unipd.it.

Call for Papers: State Neutrality, Religion, and Private Enterprises

The Université Catholique de Louvain is soliciting papers for its upcoming conference “State Neutrality, Religion, and Private Enterprises.”  A description of the conference follows:

Debates on the social responsibility of businesses raise the question of the universalist or particularist nature of the ethics upheld by private legal institutions, ethics which may be legitimized or delegitimized by social practices, but also validated and invalidated by constitutional laws or anti-discriminatory legislations. Indeed, if secular States have separated themselves from Churches and cannot be directly involved in religious affairs, it is also because they are secular, and the necessity to protect fundamental rights imposes itself on them so that they become, in turn, involved with the religious sphere, of which they will appoint themselves as interpreters, and that, with respect to the values which are present, often in opposition, in a society. In this thematic session we will question how the sphere of the social responsibility of enterprises confront secular States and their institutions, in particular tribunals, to new ethical and religious resources, thus renewing the question of their interpretation. This reflection on the confrontation of tribunals to particularist ethics in the sphere of private enterprise management will be laid out on the basis of theoretical and empirical research so as to facilitate dialogue between legal constraints and the critical resources of the field of the sociology of religion and social ethics. A re-evaluation of the doctrinal and theological tenets of the evoked ethical referents will permit not only a critical assessment of the data submitted to tribunals in cases of litigation, but will also provide an opening to more efficient modes of interaction, within the boundaries of common law, and of more relevant approaches to mediation, with the contextual data.

Paper proposals should be submitted no later than December 15, 2014 and should be submitted via the online form provided here.  Any questions can be directed to Louis-Léon Christians (Université Catholique de Louvain) at louis-leon.christians@uclouvain.be or to David Koussens (Université de Sherbrooke) at david.koussens@usherbrooke.ca.

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