Sunday, November 20, 2011

International Workshop on Law and Religion at the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law

IMG_6068The University of Lucerne Faculty of Law hosted a two-day workshop last week (18-19 November 2011) on the theme of "Global Trends in Law and Religion."  The workshop allowed new and emerging scholars to connect with more experienced professors and to share papers and presentations on a broad range of topics.

The conference was organized by Professor Lauren Redman (Lauren Fielder) and Dr. Kyriaki Topidi (pictured here on the right with me).  They are two of the brightest stars at the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law.  They did an amazing job of organizing a highly interesting and interactive workshop.

Opening remarks were given by the two organizers and Professor Alexander Morawa(University of Lucerne Faculty of Law).  A rich and diverse group of speakers came from around the world to present papers, including these:

  • IMG_6063Professor Ruth Hargrove (California Western School of Law), the keynote speaker (pictured at right) who discussed religious and cultural defenses to criminal charges;
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  • Prof. Eyene Okpanachi (University of Alberta, Canada), who spoke on the implementation of Sharia in Nigeria
  • Ms. Mridhula Dharshini Pillay (a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom), who spoke about legal pluralism, religion, and conflict in India (pictured below with Professor Amien);

  • IMG_6087Professor Waheeda Amien (University of Cape Town, South Africa), who spoke on the different faces of legal pluralism in South African religious family law;
  • Ms. Dimitra Georgaraki (Democritius University in Greece), who spoke on culture in welfare states;

  • Mr. Todd Williams, an attorney from the United States, who spoke on designing an Islamic credit union;

  • Prof. Arshad Alam (Jamia Millia Isalmia, India), who spoke on Islamic madrasas in India;

  • IMG_6092Prof. David Austin (California Western School of Law), pictured at right who spoke on contrasting approaches in the United States and Italy to the display of religious symbols in public school classrooms; and

  • Prof. Cosmina Paul (Babes Bolyai University, Romania), who spoke on abortion and religious non-governmental organizations in Romania.

The conference organizers plan to publish a book of the papers presented (with possible additional materials or articles).

IMG_6115Lauren Fielder and Kyriaki Topidi organized the most diverse legal conference that I have ever attended, and it was a privilege to participate.  Professor Adrian Loretan (Die Professur für Kirchenrecht und Staatskirchenrecht der Universität Luzern) also attended both days of the program and was equally enthusiastic at the high quality of the conference.  Special thanks for her help on organizing the conference also go to Ms. Uta DIetrich of the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law.


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