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The 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum took place 26–28 September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was the fifth annual event in a series of G20 interfaith fora held to coincide with the meetings of the international Group of Twenty Economic Summit. This year's G20 Summit will take place in Buenos Aires, from 30 November to 1 December. Previous interfaith fora have been held in Gold Coast, Australia (2014), Istanbul, Turkey (2015), Beijing, China (2016) and Potsdam, Germany (2017).
The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) chose Rio de Janeiro and the sun-kissed beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana for its fifth conference and, unsurprisingly, the event was heavily over-subscribed. ICLARS was founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a forum where information, data and opinions could be readily exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community. Its first conference was held in Milan in 2009, followed by meetings in Chile in 2011, the USA in 2013 and Oxford in 2016. The proceedings from all these conferences have been published, giving permanence and a wider readership to the innovative scholarship which these gatherings have consistently produced.
A panel of experts has produced a Statement of Principles of Christian Law, drawn from an examination of their internal regulatory instruments. These principles are offered for further examination by comparative scholars of church law, as an expression of shared ecclesiology, and in furtherance of the ecumenical endeavour.
Ecclesiology is the study of the church which explores the origins, nature, and purposes of the church universal. Its method includes developing categories to indicate the attributes of the church, as e.g. one, holy, catholic, and apostolic; the people of God; and the fellowship of the spirit. One aim of ecclesiology is to teach and help us understand what may be authentic, required, permissible, or appropriate church structures, such as in ministry, government, discipleship, evangelism, worship, and teaching. Legal theology might be considered to be a branch of ecclesiology. Many scholars refer to church law as applied ecclesiology, and in so doing they speak of a “theology of church law” and a “theology in church law.” The former is a doctrinal and perhaps more speculative exercise; the latter is more descriptive and scientific.
This is a self-indulgent, and perforce idiosyncratic, excursus into some (but by no means all) of the vast body of literature that has been published in recent years touching on secularism and cultural heritage in Europe, surveyed from the vantage point of law and religion scholarship. It was commissioned by the Journal of Law and Religion as part of its ambitious project for sharply focused and widely angled snapshots of the state of the field at the present moment.1 And, for this English writer, with this particular topic, the moment could not be more propitious.
Since the early 1990s, politicians, policymakers, the media and academics have increasingly focused on religion, noting the significant increase in the number of cases involving religion. As a result, law and religion has become a specific area of study. The work of Professor Norman Doe at Cardiff University has served as a catalyst for this change, especially through the creation of the LLM in Canon Law in 1991 (the first degree of its type since the time of the Reformation) and the Centre for Law and Religion in 1998 (the first of its kind in the UK). Published to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LLM in Canon Law and to pay tribute to Professor Doe's achievements so far, this volume reflects upon the interdisciplinary development of law and religion.