The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University Presents
The Fifth Installment of the Religious Legal Theory Conference: “A Global Conversation: Exploring Interfaith and International Models for the Interaction of Religion and State,”Feb. 24-25, 2014. Hosted by Emory Law School, Atlanta, GA
Law and religion share an underlying structure built on commandments and corresponding commitments. They also share a space in the formal regulation of a person’s daily life. Oftentimes they attempt to legislate in the same specific areas, and oftentimes they come to different final conclusions, or to similar conclusions, but for very different reasons. It is often said that law gives religion its structure, and religion gives law its spirit; law encourages devotion to order and organization, while religion inspires adherence to both ritual and justice. Law and religion influence each other in many different ways, but at some level they must establish formal rules for their interactions. This conference aims to explore how law, embodied in the state, manages and frames its relationship with religion, and how religions internally manage and frame their relationships with the state.
The following prompts are intended to guide the conference conversations. Please have your proposals/papers touch upon as many of these issues as possible for direct and pointed discussions.
1) If you are discussing a particular state, briefly describe that state’s model of governmental interaction with religion, both ideally and in practice.
2) A) How does religious liberty shape interactions between the state and the various religious actors in the state that you are presenting on? B) Does the interaction change depending on the religious identity of the actors? C) Does the interaction change depending on the religious freedom/liberty sought (for example, family law/personal status issues as opposed to tax exemptions)?
3)Does the state you are presenting on provide support (broadly defined) for religious activities/organizations? If so, what is the framework that the state has in place and what are the limitations, if any, for governmental interaction with religion? Have those policies been challenged or questioned?
4) How does the state you are presenting on deal with internal religious conflict and internal religious governance?
5) Reflecting on the questions above, how do religions and religious actors actually experience your state’s governmental involvement in religion?
6) If you are describing a particular religion or religious group, briefly describe the group’s ideal model of governmental interaction with religion. How does this ideal version of church/state interaction compare with the actual relationships between the group and the various states that it finds itself in?
7) How has state law shaped both religious expression and underlying values, and how has religion shaped state law and underlying values in the country that you study?
8) How do religions and religious actors interact with each other in the shadow of the state?
9) What is the role of religion in the public square? How do law, religion, and culture interact with each other in shaping and forming national identity/policy?
Proposals are due November 30, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be given no later than December 15, 2013. Select papers may be published in a special conference volume. Send to:
Dr. Mark Goldfeder
Senior Lecturer, Emory Law School,
Spruill Familly Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion.