These are exciting times for people who study law and religion. As two of the most important institutions in society, law and religion have always been linked. Law traditionally has looked to religion for fundamental concepts like justice and equality, and religion often has made law central to believers’ daily lives. Moreover, for centuries, constitutional government has tried to accommodate religion in a system of ordered liberty, maintaining the separation of church and state while respecting the deepest commitments of many citizens.
While the nexus between law and religion is familiar, the relationship is raising new, and urgent, issues today. Despite the confident predictions of the last century, religion does not appear to be in terminal, global decline. On the contrary, religious commitments remain vitally important for millions of people everywhere. And, as a result of globalization, people of different faiths, and no faith, are encountering each other more and more frequently, not only in settings like intergovernmental organizations and human-rights tribunals, but in local communities as well – in schools, city halls, courthouses and neighborhoods throughout the world.
Thus, it is now essential for law students and lawyers – and all of us, as citizens – to understand more about the complicated ways in which law and religion can relate to one another. We at CLR hope that this website will contribute to this important goal. Our content is regularly updated, so please visit often and feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions. We would love to hear from you!
Mark L. Movsesian