The Steering Committee of the African Consorium for Law and Religion Studies are pleased to announce and issue a Call for Papers for the 2018 ACLARS Conference — Law, Religion, and Human Flourishing — which will be held 20-22 May 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.  Responses to the Call must be made before 30 September 2017.

A shared interest of law and religion is the advancement of human flourishing, yet there is no common understanding of what it means for humans to flourish and the means by which to attain a flourishing life. The concept of human flourishing is especially important for Africa, where community and national development compete with forces of conflict and scarce resources. In the broadest sense, the concept of human flourishing focuses our attention on having a comprehensively good or worthwhile life, but various legal, religious, and ethical traditions suggest different norms for measuring the quality of life and designing the institutional structures that could best facilitate and preserve it.  will focus on this topic by exploring the relationship between religious ideas and sustainable conceptions of humans flourishing in Africa, and how law might help us weigh and relate the various components of such substantive conceptions. 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 in African studies. Topics for the conference might include:

  • Visions, ideals, and ethics of human flourishing in religious traditions in Africa;
  • Relationships and tensions between religious ideals of flourishing and legal regimes (e.g. democracy, rule of law, religious or secular state);
  • Religious beliefs and practices that contribute to or undermine human flourishing;
  • Examination of regional and specific governmental policies on human flourishing;
  • The role of religious NGOs and faith-based advocacy organizations in the positive and constructive promotion of human flourishing, including provision of social services, e.g. health care and education;
  • African indigenous ideas of human flourishing and resources for promoting it;
  • Various components of human flourishing—including health care, environmental protection, gender relations, and arts and culture;
  • Law, religion, and humor as a facet of human flourishing and cultural expression;
  • Religion, economics, and development in Africa and tensions between models of social and economic development;
  • Religious perspectives on the flourishing of the non-human world (e.g. animals, nature, environment);
  • The contribution of peacebuilding and conflict resolution to human flourishing;
  • Human flourishing in contexts of poverty and scarce resources;
  • The impact of political and economic corruption on human flourishing and religious critique of religion’s complicity;
  • Law, religion, and programs for flourishing of children, youth, and future generations through education and training, e.g. religion education, anti-radicalization, leadership training;
  • Religion, employment, and workplace relations.
  • Other topics pertaining to law and religion in Africa.

To submit an Abstract for consideration, you must complete the Response to Call for Papers. Abstracts will not be considered without the completed form. Please note that Responses are due by September 30, 2017.  For inquiries, please contact the ACLARS secretariat at