Workshop Law and Religion

Date
26 June 2017
Time
10:00 – 12:00  hrs.
Address
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room
A014

On June 26th, a small workshop on comparative law & religion will take place with Dr. Jaclyn Neo (National University of Singapore, Law School). Jaclyn is a very well-published scholar in the field of comparative public law and human rights, particularly in the field of law and religion (see bio below). She studied at Yale Law School (LLM, JSD) and she is an Assistant Professor of Public Law at the National University of Singapore. She is an innovative thinker and a wonderful speaker. On June 26, Jaclyn will present one of her most recent papers and engage with  her audience’s questions. Hans-Martien Ten Napel will act as discussant and Sofia Fernandes Da Silva Ranchordás will chair the workshop. Both colleagues and students are welcome!

You can register for the workshop by sending an email to Sofia, preferably by June 10. Should you be interested in presenting a recent paper, pitching your PhD research or discussing a new research idea on law and religion or freedom of expression so as to receive some feedback from an expert in this field, please let Sofia know. Due to time constraints, only 2-3 additional presentations can be accepted.

Source: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2017/06/workshop-law-and-religion.

See also:

International Conference on “The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics in Transition”;

Blogpost ‘Religious Freedom, Eastern Ethical Monism, and Western “Civic Totalism”‘.

Book Recommendations (I): Nicholas Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy (2012)

About the book:

Understanding Liberal Democracy presents notable work by Nicholas Wolterstorff at the intersection between political philosophy and religion. Alongside his influential earlier essays, it includes nine new essays in which Wolterstorff develops original lines of argument and stakes out novel positions regarding the nature of liberal democracy, human rights, and political authority. Taken together, these positions are an attractive alternative to the so-called public reason liberalism defended by thinkers such as John Rawls. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, political theorists, and theologians, engaging a wide audience of those interested in how best to understand the nature of liberal democracy and its relation to religion.’

About the author:

‘Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University. Currently he is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, at the University of Virginia. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association, and of the Society of Christian Philosophers; he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the lectures he has given are the Wilde Lectures at Oxford University, the Gifford Lectures at St Andrews University, and the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary. He has published over twenty books including On Universals, Works and Worlds of Art, Art in Action, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, Reason within the Bounds of Religion, Divine Discourse, John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology, Educating for Shalom, Lament for a Son, Justice: Rights and Wrongs and Justice in Love.’

Source, and more information: Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy. Essays in Political Philosophy.

As I write in the introduction to my new book, Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017), I have found that some of the most worthwhile books on liberal democracy which have been published in recent years, have been authored, for example, by ethicists and philosophers. You can read part of the introduction to my book here.

As I demonstrate in the third chapter of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human, Wolterstorff’s Understanding Liberal Democracy is a major example of such a worthwhile book.

See also Twelve posts introducing my new book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human

Upcoming Speaking Engagement, Conference ‘Christianity and the Future of our Societies’, Leuven, Belgium, 15-19 August 2016

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‘The event is jointly organized by the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven and the Association for Reformational Philosophy and tackles issues facing the future of our societies. The focus of the conference is to analyze philosophically and theologically what Christianity can contribute to the well-being and flourishing of societies, and people within societies, in the 21st century, in very diverse contexts around the world. The aim of the conference is to discuss with scholars from all over the world not only the significance of religion and Christianity in general, but also the contribution of Christian theology and Christian philosophical thinking in particular for contemporary societies in very different contexts around the globe.’

The paper I will be presenting during the conference is provisionally entitled: ‘Christianity and the Future of Religious Freedom’.

On the Association of Reformational Philosophy:

‘The Association of Reformational Philosophy (ARP) has its roots in the 16th century Reformation and its direct origin in the 19th neo-Calvinist revival (in which Abraham Kuyper was a pivotal figure). One of the goals of the ARP is “to contribute to the deepening of philosophical insight in created reality, and to make these insights fruitful for academic studies and for society”. Key founding fathers of the movement were the Dutch philosophers Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoven. The movement has grown, and is today globally engaged in academic dialogue between Christianity and the contemporary world, and its animating intellectual, political and economic ideas and leaders. It does so in the expectation that Christianity has important and timely insights to offer.’

On the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit:

‘The Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF) in Leuven, Belgium, has developed into an important European education and research center for Christian theology that seeks relevance to the contemporary world and its concerns. In ETF’s international master’s and doctoral program, students and professors from a wide variety of cultural and denominational backgrounds come from all over the world to engage in stimulating dialogue.’

For more information, and registration, see http://www.cfs2016.org/.

Participant, expert seminar ‘Religious Pluralism and Human Rights in Europe: Where to Draw the Line?’, Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, Utrecht (9-10 May 2006)

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‘”How should we deal with religious pluralism in contemporary Europe from a human rights perspective and where should we draw the line, if any?” This was the central question of an expert seminar held in 2006 at Utrecht University to celebrate the inaugural address of Abdullahi An-Na’im, who occupied the G.J. Wiarda Chair at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) in 2005/2006. (…)
Though religious pluralism in itself is anything but new in Europe, the influx of large groups of non-Christians, especially Muslims, and the political climate after recent terrorist attacks have profoundly changed the terms of the debate on how to deal with it. Should all religions be treated the same, or is it legitimate to take European Christian heritage into account?
Does religion deserve more protection than culture? What does it mean if we say the State has to be secular and/or neutral? How should freedom of religion be dealt with if it conflicts with other fundamental rights such as sex equality? And how should one approach limitations on the freedom of expression that are related to religion, such as hate speech bans or criminalisation of glorifying terrorism?
The questions are set against the background of modern notions of citizenship and the European human rights framework.’

Source: http://intersentia.com/en/shop/academisch/religious-pluralism-and-human-rights-in-europe.html.

About the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights:

‘SIM is the key centre of expertise of human rights research and education at Utrecht University.

The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights offers internationally oriented study programmes, conducts interdisciplinary research and organises a range of activities in the field of human rights.

History
Established in 1981 as a research support institute for a group of Dutch human rights NGOs, SIM has become integrated into Utrecht University over time. SIM was one of the founders of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research and is the home of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Famous human rights researchers have headed SIM since its creation, including Hans Thoolen, Manfred Nowak, Peter Baehr, Cees Flinterman and Jenny Goldschmidt. Antoine Buyse is SIM’s current director. With a rich tradition and a keen eye voor current and future developments in the field of human rights, SIM is a leading academic research institute and the home base of a vibrant, interdisciplinary and international group of researchers, lecturers, and PhD students.’

– See more at: http://sim.rebo.uu.nl/en/over-ons/#sthash.Klf2stYo.dpuf.

Article in Muslim World Journal of Human Rights (2011)

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The abstract of this article, entitled ‘The Judicial Protection of Religious Symbols in Europe’s Public Educational Institutions: Thank God for Canada and South Africa’, reads as follows:

‘How should judges deal with the manifestation of religious symbols in public educational institutions? In light of the important role of human rights in our legal and political system, courts should grant maximum protection under the freedom of religion or belief. The central thesis of this article is that the European Court of Human Rights fails to live up to this standard. In order to reach this conclusion, the article analyzes relevant case law of the European Court and compares its case law with that of the high courts of Canada and South Africa. In addition, the article assesses the case law of all three courts from the angle of interpretation theory and particularly Cass R. Sunstein’s theory of judicial minimalism. Adoption of a more consistently minimalist methodology by the European Court might lead to a greater protection granted to individuals and groups. However, a wide and deep ruling is first required to overturn the current line of reasoning. The European Court can draw inspiration from Canada and South Africa for such a judgment.’

For order information of the article, which was co-authored with Florian H. Karim Theissen, see:

http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/mwjhr.2011.8.issue-1/1554-4419.1216/1554-4419.1216.xml.

About the journal:

‘Muslim World Journal of Human Rights offers a medium for scholarly debate on various aspects of the question of human rights as it relates to the Muslim World. Edited by an international board of leading Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies and human right scholars from around the world, MWJHR promises to serve as a forum in which barriers are bridged (or at least, addressed), and human rights are finally discussed with an eye on the Muslim world, in an open and creative manner.

The choice to name the journal, “Muslim World Journal of Human Rights” reflects a desire to examine human rights issues related not only to Islam and Islamic law, but equally those human rights issues found in Muslim societies that stem from various other sources such as socio-economic and political factors, as well the interaction and intersections of the two areas.’

Commentator, Conference on ‘Religion, Rights, and Institutions’, Princeton University (2014)

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‘The Conference on Religions, Rights, and Institutions will focus on how institutional design, of both religions and political regimes, affects the relationship between religious practice and activity and human rights. It will examine how the internal organization (formal and informal structures and rules) of religions and religious communities affect therights of members of religious communities and the functioning of religion as a source of human rights. It will investigate the scope of, and limits upon, a just state’s authority to compel changes in the internal aspects of organized religion in the name of human rights. Among the questions it will ask is how do social and political institutions shape religious behavior and affect the human rights of members of religious communities and the society at large.

The conference is co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Israel Democracy Institute. It will take place on November 23-24, 2014. Attendance is by invitation only.’

My contribution took place during Session 8 (‘Secular Carve-outs in a Religious World; Religious Carve-outs in a Secular World’. Check out the full conference schedule here:

https://lapa.princeton.edu/content/religions-rights-and-institutions.

Chapter in volume on Religion, Politics and Law. Philosophical Reflections on the Sources of Normative Order in Society (2009)

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‘Modern, liberal democracies in the West living under the rule of law and protection of human rights cannot articulate the very values from which they derive their legitimacy. These pre-political and pre-legal preconditions cannot be guaranteed, let alone be enforced by the state, but constitute nevertheless its moral and spiritual infrastructure. Until recently, a common background and horizon consisted in Christianity, but due to secularisation and globalisation, society has become increasingly multicultural and multireligious. The question can and should be raised how religion relates to these sources of normative order in society, how religion, politics and law relate to each other, and how social cohesion can be attained in society, given the growing varieties of religious experiences. In this book, a philosophical account of this question is carried out, on the one hand historically from Plato to the Enlightenment, on the other hand systematically and practically.’

My own chapter, co-authored with Florian H. Karim Theissen, is entitled ‘Taking Pluralism Seriously: The US and the EU as Multicultural Democracies’.

See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228283908_Taking_Pluralism_Seriously_The_US_and_the_EU_as_Multicultural_Democracies.

For order information, visit http://www.brill.com/religion-politics-and-law;

or http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Politics-Law-Bart-Labuschagne/dp/9004172076/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452689366&sr=8-1&keywords=religion%2C+politics%2C+law+labuschagne.