Fourth ICLARS Conference
Oxford, September 8-11, 2016
Call for papers and draft program


Fourth ICLARS Conference Books & Journals

Fourth ICLARS Conference
Oxford, September 8-11, 2016
Freedom of/for/from/in Religion: Differing Dimensions of a Common Right?


Freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), once considered to be the “first” freedom, has become a controversial right. In particular, the practical possibility of implementing FoRB in impartial ways are increasingly questioned. Critics argue that FoRB cannot deliver what it promises: an equal share of freedom for people of different or no religion. Further, it is claimed that the right of FoRB, as it is regulated in international and constitutional law, is intrinsically biased because it reflects its Western and Christian origins.

Part of the problem is due to the fact that FoRB is a complex notion, including different dimensions that require careful consideration. Freedom of religion or belief, as a right recognized for every human being, is the first dimension, but not the only one. Freedom from religion, that is the right to live one’s life without being compelled to perform religious acts, is another and freedom for religion, which concerns the institutional side of this right (what was once called “libertas ecclesiae”) is a third dimension that demands consideration. Finally, freedom in religion concerns the rights that the faithful (and sometimes not so faithful) are entitled to enjoy within their religious communities.

These four dimensions of FoRB are the focus of the fourth conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies. A plenary session will be devoted to each of them and a number of parallel sessions will explore the implications of these four dimensions (see the attached provisional program). A session devoted to young scholars will help launch the conference and two final sessions addressed by representatives of law and religion centers and journals will complete the program.

Scholars are invited to submit papers for the conference, sending an abstract of no more than 300 words, in English, to by March 31, 2016. A separate session is reserved for young scholars (35 years or younger) who may apply for a contribution to cover travel and accommodation expenses.

Deadline for submitting paper proposals and opening of registration: March 31, 2016
Notification of paper acceptance: April 10, 2016
Deadline for being assured housing at conference venue, April 15, 2016
Deadline for registering: July 31, 2016
Publication of the final program: July 31, 2016


September 8, 2016
   Young Scholars
   Inaugural Session and Dinner


September 9, 2016
First Plenary
Freedom of Religion. Fundamental Right or Impossibility? 
Freedom of Religion and International Law

Freedom(s) of Religion and the Jurisprudence of the
European Court of Human Rights

Freedom of Religion and Equality
The Challenge of Migration to Freedom of Religion

Second Plenary
Freedom from Religion. What is it? 

Freedom of Religion and Non-Discrimination  
Does Security Require Freedom from Religion?
The Legal Problems of Conversion

September 10, 2016
Third Plenary
Freedom for Religion

Controversy Regarding the Ministerial Exception
Freedom of Religion and Sacred Places 
Freedom of Religion and Corporations

Fourth Plenary
Freedom in Religion

Women and Religion
Comparing Freedom of Religion in Different Religious Traditions
Religious Laws and Mixed Marriages

Closing Session

September 11, 2016
   Meeting of Law and Religion Associations
   Meeting of Law and Religion Journals and Book Series
   ICLARS General Assembly. Election of the new President and Steering Committee

Intolerant Religion in a Tolerant-Liberal Democracy
Religious Hatred and International Law. The Prohibition of Incitement to Violence or Discrimination
Religious Adjudication and the State
Comparative Islamic Studies


Newsletter editor: Cristiana Cianitto.

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