Encyclopedia of Law and Religion

Purchase Access
Subject: Law

Edited by: Gerhard Robbers and W. Cole Durham

In recent years, issues of freedom of religion or belief and state-religion relations have become increasingly important worldwide. The Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, unique in its breadth and global coverage, provides an important foundational resource for study of these issues. The encyclopedia covers the relation between law and religion in its various aspects, including those related to the role of religion in society, the relations between religion and state institutions, freedom of religion, legal aspects of religious traditions, the interaction between law and religion, and other issues at the junction of law, religion, and state.

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In recent years, issues of freedom of religion or belief and state-religion relations have become increasingly important worldwide. The Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, unique in its breadth and global coverage, provides an important foundational resource for study of these issues. The encyclopedia covers the relation between law and religion in its various aspects, including those related to the role of religion in society; the relations between religion and state institutions; freedom of religion; legal aspects of religious traditions; the interaction between law and religion; and other issues at the junction of law, religion, and state. 

The primary audience for this work is scholars, advanced students, and legal practitioners. A wider audience may be found among, for instance, policy makers, journalists, and indeed thoughtful people from all walks of life who seek better understanding of often polarizing issues impacting personal lives as well as national policies. 

Each article provides the following information for the broadest comparative advantage: social facts, historical background, position of religion in the legal system, individual religious freedoms, legal status of religious communities, right of autonomy, active religious communities and cultures, labor law within religious communities, religious assistance in public institutions, legal position of religious personnel and members of religious orders, matrimonial and familial laws, religious and criminal laws, and country-specific issues.

Five print volumes – Africa; the Americas; Asia; Europe; and Oceania, special territories, international organizations, and index – were published in 2016 (www.brill.com/products/book/encyclopedia-law-and-religion-set). The open-ended online edition creates the possibility of more timely updating of the contributions, as fast-moving events change the religion and law climate in individual countries. 

A work that covers all independent nations and jurisdictions as well as the major international organizations has not been published before, and such a resource as the Encyclopedia of Law and Religion makes an invaluable contribution to understanding of issues of critical importance in the modern world.

General Editors

Gerhard Robbers is Professor Emeritus of Public Law at the University of Trier. He was from November 2014 to May 2016 Minister of Justice and for Consumer Protection, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. At the age of 16 he received a scholarship to study as one of 180 international students at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, United Kingdom. He received his doctoral degree in law in 1978 and his final law degree in 1980 at the University of Freiburg. From 1981-1984 he served as law clerk to the President of the German Federal Constitutional Court. In 1986 he obtained his habilitation in law. From 1988 to 1989 he was professor of law at the University of Heidelberg. In 1989 he came to Trier, where he was Professor of Public Law, Ecclesiastical Law, Political Philosophy, and Constitutional History, Director of the Institute for European Constitutional Law, and Director of the Institute for Legal Policy. He is a member of, and from 2003-2004 was president of, the European Consortium of Church and State Research. He is also member of the Advisory Panel for Freedom of Religion or Belief at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Before his appointment as Minister in 2014, he served as judge at the Constitutional Court of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and before this as judge at the Administration Court of Appeals. Professor Robbers' primary areas of research have been law and religion, constitutional law, and international public law. He has been an advisor to several national governments and international organizations. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) and of the Steering Committee of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) and is a Founding Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. He has been an Executive Board Member of the German Protestant Church Congress (2007-2013) and was President of the 34th Congress (2013).

Cole Durham, Jr.is Susa Young Gates University Professor and Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School, where he has taught since 1976. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the  Harvard Law Review and and Managing Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal.  Since 1994, he has been a Recurring Visiting Professor of Law at Central European University in Budapest. He has also been a guest professor in Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany and at the University of Vienna. He has participated in constitution drafting and other law reform process in more than 50 countries and has helped develop and conduct Religion and the Rule of Law certificate training programs in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar. He is President of the International Consortium of Law and Religion Studies, headquartered in Milan, Italy, and is a Founding Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. He served as the Secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law from 1989 to 1994 and is an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Paris. He has been Chair both of the Comparative Law Section and the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools and has been a member of the Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion or Belief of the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. He is a Vice President of the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief and has served as a board member of church-state centers at DePaul and Baylor Universities, of the International Religious Liberty Association, and of the International Advisory Board of the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief. In January 2009 he was awarded the International First Freedom Award by the First Freedom Center in Richmond, Virginia, and in July 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from Ovidius University in Constanta.

Assistant Editor

Donlu Thayer is Senior Editor for Print and Electronic Publications at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and an associate editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. She entered Brigham Young University as a Karl G. Maesar Scholar, graduating in 1970 with a B.A. in French and English, High Honors with Distinction, co-valedictorian of the College of Humanities, and in 1972 receiving an M.A. in American Literature. In 2004 she received a J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she concentrated study on conflict resolution and on family, international, and constitutional law, and received the Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, the J. Reuben Clark Public Interest Service Award, and the Schooley Outstanding Mediator Award and was Justice of the Cowley Chapter of Pi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International. She has been a family, juvenile court, small claims, and high-risk victim/offender mediator and was for a time Executive Director of Community Dispute Resolution Services of Utah County. She is a member of the Utah State Bar. A professional editor for more than 45 years, including 10 years as an editor for the New World Archaeological Foundation, she also for many years taught writing in the Brigham Young University English Department and Honors Program; after law school she developed and taught an honors advanced writing course for pre-law students. At the time of her retirement from teaching in 2008, she was awarded the Honors Program’s JoAnn Britsch Teaching Excellence Award. Publications include Law, Religion, Constitution, edited with W. Cole Durham, Jr., et al. (2013), Religion and the Secular State: National Reports, edited with Javier Martínez-Torrón and W. Cole Durham, Jr. (2015), Religion and Equality: Law in Conflict, edited with W. Cole Durham, Jr., (2016), and more than 35 case notes for the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.