Following the success of conferences in Ghana (2013), South Africa (2014), Namibia (2015) and Ethiopia (2016), the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) will be convening its Fifth Annual Law and Religion Conference in Rabat, Morocco from 14 to 17 May 2017 in collaboration with the International University of Rabat, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the Brigham Young University Law School, USA.
The subject of the conference will be Religion, Law, and Security, focusing on religious extremism, blasphemy, violence, terrorism, and human and sustainable security. Participants are encouraged to submit abstracts which address any aspect of this broad theme drawing upon their particular field of study and their national, regional or comparative experience. Themes for the conference will include:
- The interrelationship between freedom of expression, freedom or religion and other fundamental rights in Africa
- Legal foundations for the promotion of sustainable peace and religious tolerance in Africa
- The role of inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue in countering extremism in Africa
- Blasphemy and defamation of religion in the light of the Rabat Plan of Action (December 2014)
- The evaluation of national and regional laws in Africa designed to combat extremism and to promote freedom of religion
More than 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from Africa and many other parts of the world joined in the Fourth Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, sponsored by the African Consortium of Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) and held Sunday, 22 May to Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A workshop for early career scholars was held immediately prior to the conference on May 22. The theme of the conference, which was hosted by College of Law and Good Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University and held at the Capital Hotel, was "Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa".
Awol Wagris, Ethiopia State Minister of Federal and Pastoralist Affairs, delivered the opening speech of the conference: "Looking ahead," he said, "the greatest challenges our country faces with regard to the protection of religious freedom and promotion of religious pluralism are religious extremism, intolerance, and violent conflict." He added that addressing this challenge effectively requires the promotion of mutual understanding, respect, cooperation... more
The Third Conference on Law and Religion in Africa took place in Windhoek, Namibia, May 18-19, 2015. This memorable and very successful conference focused on the theme "Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations." Some sixty participants participated in the conference, from 17 countries: UK, US, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Namibia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda, Belgium.
Participants discussed such topics as:
- African traditional law / religion
- Human rights and dignity (including rights of children, the disabled, the elderly and women)
- Implications of globalisation, neo-liberalism, democratisation, and fragile states for religious practice in African societies
- Competing conceptions of religion and freedom in the African context