The Catholic University of America



Professor Robert Destro (standing, far right) hosted the meeting
at the  Columbus School of Law on July 30 and 31st.

CUA Law Hosts International Discussion
on Religion and the Secular State


Academics and intellectuals from 20 nations gathered at the Columbus School of Law on July 30 and 31 for a conference titled “Religion and the Secular State: Comparative Perspectives.”
The two-day discussion was organized by Catholic University’s Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University. CUA law professor Robert Destro hosted the event and provided opening remarks.
Participants traveled from countries as disparate as Finland, Uruguay, Latvia and Korea to debate and discuss the dynamic and sometimes testy relationship between organized religion and secular governments across the globe. Divided into five sessions, topics included “The Autonomy of Religious Institutions,” “Religious Symbols in Public Space” and “Limits on Legal Regulation of Religion.”
The carefully designed format provided enough time for all participants to speak, after first hearing from “discussion launchers” who helped to identify the major issues.
The conference at CUA Law was itself a subset of a larger and longer event, The XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, held July 25 - August 1 at hotel conference centers and law schools across Washington, D.C. More than 450 attendees from 56 countries were represented at the international congress.