Third ICLARS Conference
Law and religion in Africa conference
Books and Journals



Third ICLARS Conference Books & Journals

The Third ICLARS Conference —"Religion, Democracy, and Equality"— promises to be an outstanding event. It will be held 21-23 August 2013 in historic Virginia, with participants staying in Richmond, near where the language was crafted that ultimately became the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, with sessions continuing in other historical locations in Williamsburg and Charlottesville.

The conference will feature themes of great importance and urgency, discussed by more than 70 international experts.  All ICLARS members and friends are cordially invited to attend.

Day One, at the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown, will feature Young Scholars sessions, followed by the Keynote Address by UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt.

Day Two, convening at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, will feature discussion of Religious Pluralism and Treatment of Religious Minorities during the morning sessions and of Hate Speech, Hate Crimes, and Religious Minorities and Religious Pluralism in the afternoon. Following the sessions, guided walking tours will take participants through historic Williamsburg, the capitol of the Virginia Colony.

Day Three, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, will feature morning discussions of Religion and Gender and Is Religion Special? and afternoon discussions of Religion and Anti-Discrimination Norms as well as Regional Studies. In the late afternoon participants will visit Jefferson's Monticello and other historic sites in Charlottesville, including the famous serpentine wall, sometimes identified as the true image of the famous "wall of separation" metaphor for the appropriate relationship of religion and state. 

Conference Program
A provisional conference program (as of 9 July 2013 and subject to change) is available here.

Register Early for ICLARS Member Discounts
Conference Registration:  The conference registration fee is $250, which will cover all meals and transportation. A discount of $50 is offered as an incentive for completing registration before July 15. ICLARS members who are current on dues payments ($50 / €40) will receive an additional discount of $100, regardless of early registration. The registration deadline is August 1.  

Hotel Accommodations:
A block of rooms has been reserved for 18 August 2013 – 24 August 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Richmond. A group preferred rate of $USD per room has been arranged. This special rate will be available until July 19 or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. 

Click here to register by July 15 [change from July 10] and receive the $50 discount.

* Click here to JOIN ICLARS and receive additional $100 discount.
ICLARS MEMBERS: Make certain dues are current to ensure additional $100 discount. Contact Crisitiana Cianitto at to pay.

Click here to book by July 19 to reserve your room at the special group rate.

XIII Coloquio del Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa
The Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa will hold its 13th Annual Colloquium —  "Libertad Religiosa, Igualdad y Autonomía de las Entidades Religiosas" — 19-21 August 2013 at Randolph-Macon College near Richmond, under the sponsorship of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) of Brigham Young University. Those arriving early for the ICLARS conference might enjoy attending this conference, which will feature English translations of Spanish presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. For more information contact Olga Medina at


On 14 and 15 January 2013 the very first Law and Religion in Africa conference was held at the University of Ghana Legon, Ghana.

The conference was organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon; the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion at the University of Stellenbosch (SA); the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (SA); the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University (USA) and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies,  Brigham Young University, Provo (USA).

The theme of the conference was Law and Religion in Africa: Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects. About forty to sixty scholars of Law and Religion attended the conference coming from many countries, cities, universities, institutions and regions of Africa like Accra (Ghana), Stellenbosch and Pretoria (SA); the Supreme Courts of Gambia and of Ghana, the National House of Chiefs, Ghana; The Royal Aspen Institute in Nigeria; the Anglican Church Botswana;  The Icamagu Institute in SA; the University of Tanzania; the School of Law, Makerere University, Uganda; the Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian, Malawi; the University of Nigeria; the Advocate Bureau of Kigali, Ruanda;   the Nigeria Interreligious Council; Rhodes University (South Africa); the Centre for Social Policy Studies (University of Ghana); Louis Arthur School of Law (University of Liberia); the Faculty of Law (University of Namibia) and Ethiopia. Also scholars from Europe and the US attended the conference.

Many interesting papers of good quality were presented under the categories of: Constitutionalism and Religion; Indigenous Religions and Customary Law; Religion-State Relations: Country Case Studies; Tension between Religion and State: Country Case Studies; Politics and Pluralism; State Responses to Religious Minorities.

This conference was the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa with about 11 countries represented.
It was definitively a good start and we hope that future conferences of this kind will attract participants from many more African countries. Effort will be made to identify persons from different African countries that can be invited. Any help in this regards will be welcomed. Participants from other parts of the world are of course also welcome. Religion plays a very important role in the life of peoples and countries all over the world, also in Africa, and it is sadly often in this Continent the cause of tensions, clashes and the death of many people with a lot of sad consequences. Conferences on Law and Religion in Africa can help to stimulate much needed academic reflection and balanced perspectives on this very important relationship of Law and Religion which plays such an important a role in the life of everybody.
In Ghana it was decided to have a second conference on Law and Religion in Africa in 2014. This will take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa from 26 – 28 May 2014. The theme of the conference will be Law and Religion in Africa: the Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies. A call for papers will be sent out soon, but please mark the dates of the conference.

P Coertzen - Stellenbosch

The Library of Essays on Law and Religion: 4-Volume Set
Religion, Politics and Law in the European Union
Religious Symbols in Public Functions: Unveiling State Neutrality
Journal of Muslims in Europe


Newsletter editor: Vincenzo Pacillo.
Kurt Martens, Angelika Guentzel, and Maria Elena Pimstein
are respectively responsible of the sections devoted to books, journals and links.


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