Editorial: Religion and Constitution Second ICLARS Conference, Santiago (Chile), 2011
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Religion and Constitution Second ICLARS Conference, Santiago (Chile), 2011 Books & Journals
The second ICLARS conference is now a couple of months behind us and we can  try to give an account of this event. During three days in Santiago (Chile), numerous scholars convened from various universities from each continent: Africa (4), Asia (3), Europe (20), North (8) and South (16) America.
    This second conference addressed the role of religion in states constitutions, which has become an increasingly debated issue in many parts of the world. The ICLARS conference, through the contributions of eminent scholars and an open debate, tried to offer a new and interesting perspective on this topic.
    Professor W. Cole Durham Jr., provided with his opening key speech the framework for the following numerous discussions. His speech emphasized the importance of those constitutional provisions that protect religious entities' autonomy, useful not just for the protection of religion, but also its promotion. In the following days we returned many times to the relevance of religious bodies self determination, a major topic in different countries and in the case-law of international courts.
     A second major theme during the conference – religion and equal treatment- was introduced  by prof. J.Martinez Torron in his speech “Equals before the law?”. The importance of this issue can be underlined by the simultaneous workshops closely linked to this topic, which tried to take into account “The status of religious, ethnic and cultural minorities”, “Religion and equal treatment in Latin American Constitutions”  and “Religion and equal treatment in China and Nepal”.
    During the plenary sessions different constitutions from around the globe were examined under different lenses: the mentions of God and/or religion in the constitutional preambles, the relations among Church and State and the constitutional references to religious legal systems as a source of State law, as in the case of the shari'a or the basic laws of Israel. A further topic that came under observation during other sessions was the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom exemplified by the relation between freedom of religion, on the one hand, and freedom of conscience and freedom of expression on the other. The relevance of religious freedom in this conference program brought the debate towards difficult subjects such as the relation between religious freedom and the right to life or education.
    A prominent, and certainly fruitful, moment within this year conference was the meeting between scholars and editors of different law journals (a list of which can be found at the bottom of this short review). This meeting promoted the importance of a cooperation between scholars and editors, underlined the specific differences between the various journals and how these nuances should be helpful in promoting the discipline.
The final speech, which summed up and closed the conference works, was given by prof. Ana Maria Celis, organizer and host of this second successful ICLARS conference, which, for the second time, tried to address today’s many different issues of Law and Religion.

                                                                              Ana Maria Celis
Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State
Dictionnaire du Droit des religions
State Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law. Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

News from ICLARS   Tweets from the World
- List of different Law and Religion Journals which attended the conference: Ecclesiastical Law Journal; Religion, Law and Public Policy;  Annuaire Droit et Religions; Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; Journal of Law and Religion;  Quaderni di diritto e politica ecclesiastica; Derecho y Religión; Anuario de derecho eclesiástico del Estado; BYU Law Review; Religion & Human Rights; Revista General de Derecho Canónico y Derecho Eclesiástico del Estado.

- At the end of the conference, the ICLARS assembly took place and Professor Silvio Ferrari was appointed honorary President, while Professor W. Cole Durham Jr. became the new ICLARS President. The Steering Committee of the association is now comprised by Ana Maria Celis (Chile), Pieter Coertzen (South Africa), Silvio Ferrari (Italy), Iván Ibán (Spain), Tahir Mahmood (India), Asher Maoz (Israel), Juan Navarro Floria (Argentina) and Gerhard Robbers (Germany). Professor Cole Durham took on the task of organizing the next ICLARS conference in 2013 or 2014.
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