Editorial: ICLARS: : After Three Years, a Review and a View Forward (S. Ferrari)
News: The proceedings of the first ICLARS conference ("Law and Religion in the 21st Century") have been published...and more
Events: International symposium "Religious Diversity in the European Workplace"...and more

ICLARS: After Three Years, a Review and a View Forward Books & Journals

ICLARS: After Three Years, a Review and a View Forward

  The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) is an international network of scholars and experts interested in law and religion relations. It was only founded in 2007 but has already grown to include some 200 members. This is quite an impressive number given the short lifetime of this project. In my opinion, membership will further increase if we are able to offer information, services, tools that can even better help scholars and experts of law and religion in their work.

   Outside of membership, what has ICLARS achieved in its first three years? The recently redesigned ICLARS Newsletter is now published three times a year with articles and comments which help define the field. Members frequently receive messages concerning calls for papers, conferences and other events that can be of interest to them. ICLARS has a dedicated web-site, which includes a Who’s who of law and religion that offers professional data (including CV and bibliographies) and institutional references of more than 80 scholars and experts from around the world. Furthermore in the members only web-site area, the first chapters of the Encyclopedia of law and religion, directed by Gerhard Robbers, are available.  ICLARS also held a conference in 2009 on “Law and Religion in the 21st Century”. Since this first conference, we can proudly say that our online readership has been growing, bringing with it interesting possibilities for further development. Now the proceedings of the 2009 ICLARS conference have been published by Ashgate (see the box at the end of this page). They collected around 30 contributions from the conference, representing many of the leading scholars in the field. Thanks to our collaboration with Ashgate, ICLARS members will be entitled to a discount on the book, as well as on selected other readings.

That is what has been done. Now I would like to devote a few words to future activities.

The ICLARS website will be further developed. We are working to broaden the number of people who appear in the online database of experts and to make it more widely known to the scientific and academic community as well as to international organizations interested in the issue of law and religion. The Encyclopedia of law and religion is also going to be expanded to cover additional countries.

 Next year, thanks to the work of Ana Maria Celis, a second ICLARS conference will be held in Santiago (Chile) on 8-10 September 2011. Devoted to “Religion and Constitutions” (for the program and the call for papers see the second box at the end of this page), I trust it will be attended by a large number of scholars and will open new and interesting perspectives on the study of one of the most important law and religion topics: the place given to religion in the constitutions of different countries. In Santiago, ICLARS members will also vote to renew part of the ICLARS steering committee.

ICLARS is also looking to offer its members online teaching aids. As most ICLARS members are professors, it has been assessed that the presence of ideas and materials to use during courses and lectures (accessed through an easily searchable database of important cases or other resources) would be of great benefit. Let me explain what I have in mind through an example. Religious symbols in the public space is a global issue; giving a short description of the events, collecting the most important laws and court decisions on this topic, making them available in English on the web-site, offering an interpretive framework against which these materials can be assessed, pointing at the questions this issue raises from the angle of religious liberty, would be a unique and highly useful resource for those working or teaching on this issue. Such an undertaking will require significant work. Volunteers for this rewarding project are very much welcome. If interested please contact me by email at

Silvio Ferrari
Professor of law at the University of Milan and President of ICLARS.
Law & Religion in the 21st. Century - Nordic Perspectives
Law and Religion in the 21st Century. Relations between States and Religious Communities
The Law of Organized Religions. Between Establishment and Secularism
Revue de droit canonique

News   Events
"Law and Religion in the 21st Century" has been published

The proceedings of the first ICLARS conference  have been published with the title Law and Religion in the 21st Century. They bring together leading international scholars of law and religion to provide an overview of current issues in State-religion relations. The first part of the collection offers a picture of recent developments in key countries and regions. The second part is focused on Europe and, in particular, on the Nordic States and the post-communist countries where State-religion systems have undergone most profound change. The third and final part is devoted to four issues that are currently debated all over the world: the relations between freedom of expression and freedom of religion; proselytism and the right to change religion; the religious symbols; and the legal status of Islam in Europe and Canada.
ICLARS members can get 20% discount on this book (see below).

Law and Religion in the 21st Century
Relations between States and Religious Communities

Edited by Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan, Italy and Rinaldo Cristofori, University of Milan, Italy
Published : December 2010
Imprint: Ashgate; Format: 234 x 156 mm; Extent: 406 pages; Binding: Hardback; ISBN: 978-1-4094-1143-7; Price : £65.00.
The book is now available and ICLARS members can get it get 20% discount on it and some other Ashgate titles concerning law and religion (full list at
To claim the discount as ICLARS member, get your code in the area of the ICLARS website reserved to members.

For further details:

  International symposium "Religious Diversity in the European Workplace"

University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Faculties of Law and Canon Law)

With a view to bring together junior and senior scholars from a range of disciplines and practitioners to exchange experiences and ideas, an international symposium is being organized at the Law Faculty of the Catholic University of Leuven on Thursday 13 January 2011 under the umbrella of "Religare Project". Keynote speaker will be Professor Lucy Vickers, author of "Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Workplace" (2008, Hart Publishing). The full program will be announced shortly.
Legal Regulation of Religious Groups, Organisations and Communities

On 15-16 July 2011, the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies will be hosting a conference at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The conference will be on the topic "Legal Regulation of Religious Groups, Organisations and Communities". The conference is jointly organised with the International Centre for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University.

Further information can be found at


Newsletter editor: Vincenzo Pacillo.
Kurt Martens, Angelika Guentzel, and Maria Elena Pimstein
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