Image for 2016 ACLARS Conference: 'Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa'

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 for 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

Image for 2015 ACLARS Conference: 'Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations'

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
... more
Image for Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies

The Second Conference on Law and Religion in Africa was held at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) from 26 to 28 May 2014. Some 60 scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from 15 countries particpated in this conference, focusing on the theme  "Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies." Published papers from the First Conference on Law and Religion in Africa, "Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects"—which was held in Legon, Ghana, in 2013—were made available, and the new African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) was officially launched on the last day of the conference.

The conference was opened on Monday with welcome addresses by conference organizers Pieter Coertzen and W. Cole Durham, Jr.  Monday closed with a Conference Reception featuring a keynote address by Justice Albie Sachs, Emeritus Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. An additional keynote address was given by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng of the... more

Image for Law and Religion in Africa: Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects

The conference "Law and Religion in Africa: Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects" was held 14-15 January 2013 at the University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana. 

Scholars, legal professionals, and religious leaders from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierre Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the United Kindgom, and the United States gathered in Legon for the two-day event.  

The event was sponsored by the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion in the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa; the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University, United States; and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, United States.