One of the ways to know the latest research in the ever expanding field of law and religion is to keep tabs on the academic journals.  Listed below are a few of my favorites.  I have highlighted some of the information from their respective websites:

International Journal for Religious Freedom:

Editorial Committee: Th. Schirrmacher, Ch. Sauer, G. Yogarajah Issn: 2070-5484 Director: Prof Dr Christof Sauer, Cape Town, South Africa; Prof Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, Bonn, Germany  Publisher:  International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF)  Publication Place: Cape Town

The International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF) is published twice a year and aims to provide a platform for scholarly discourse on religious freedom in general and the persecution of Christians in particular. It is an interdisciplinary, international, peer reviewed journal, serving the dissemination of new research on religious freedom and contains research articles, documentation, book reviews, academic news and other relevant items.  The IJRF is listed on the South African Department of Higher Education and Training “Approved list of South African journals” as effective from 1 January 2012. Manuscripts submitted for publication are assessed by a panel of referees and the decision to publish is dependent on their reports. The IJRF subscribes to the National Code of Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Peer Review for South African Scholarly Journals. The IJRF is available as a paid print subscription, and released later as a free online version on 1 March and 1 September respectively (, as well as via SABINET.

Journal of Church and State:

Editorial Committee: Wallace L. Daniel, James A. Curry, Barry G. Hankins, Patricia Cornett, Charles McDaniel Issn: 0021969X Director: Christopher Marsh  Publisher:  J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University  Publication Place: Waco/ Texas

The Journal of Church and State seeks to stimulate interest, dialogue, research, and publication in the broad area of religion and the state. JCS publishes constitutional, historical, philosophical, theological, and sociological studies on religion and the body politic in various countries and cultures of the world, including the United States.

Journal of Law and Religion

The Journal of Law and Religion was initiated in 1982 as a collaborative effort of the Council on Religion and Law and Hamline University School of Law.  However, it was just recently announced that it will now be headed up at Emory University’s Center on Law and Religion.

“We are pleased to serve as the new editorial home for the Journal,” says Professor John Witte, Jr., CSLR Director and new co-editor of the Journal. “As our center expands its geographical and topical reach, the time is ripe to welcome the Journal and make it the leading international journal in the field.”  With a refreshed editorial direction that invites the best scholarship from around the world, says Witte, articles will address broader legal issues in the world’s religions and cultures, including the place of law in religious canons, sacred texts and religious traditions; and the place of ritual and liturgy in the operation of state legal and political systems.  Witte says the Journal also “will create informed dialogue on vital topics such as the relationship of legal and religious authorities; legal and religious dimensions of family, charity, and education; religious legal systems and their relationships to secular law, and more. These topics resonate in the lives of people worldwide, and they are becoming flashpoints of major domestic and international conflict.”

Journal of Law, Religion and State:

ISSN: 2212-6465, Online ISSN: 2212-4810 DOI: 10.1163/221248112X639757 Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 1- 2 © 2012 by Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden, The Netherlands×639757)

The Journal of Law, Religion and State is devoted to the study of the relations 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, religion, and morality, and other issues at the junction between law, religion, and state. The journal proposes to publish articles written from the perspectives of such diverse disciplines as law, history, philosophy, theology, sociology, and political science. We especially welcome interdisciplinary studies.  Three out of the four articles presented the first issue of the Journal are based on papers delivered at a conference on religious education in a democratic state held at the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University (Israel), on June 2010. Michael Walzer’s article is based on the keynote lecture, in which he maintains that a democratic state can legitimately mandate a core curriculum for all its citizens based on the premise that such education is vital for their participation in the democratic process. Mark Rosen argues that a liberal polity should grant significant autonomy to illiberal groups, especially in the realm of education. He bases his argument on Rawlsian premises, although Rawls himself concluded that political liberalism cannot accommodate perfectionist groups. On a similar note, Jeff Spinner-Halev contends that the state should accommodate to some extent also religions that are internally discriminatory. Spinner-Halev asks to distinguish between direct state support for such groups, which should be subject to strict standards, and indirect support, for which standards should be more lenient. Jonathan Fox’s article concerns the general topic of the relationship between religion and state in western countries. Basing his argument on an empirical study, Fox shows that the separation between religion and state in western democracies is not as absolute as perceived. The findings reinforce the need for a deeper analysis of the relationship between religion and state, especially in liberal democracies.

 Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Editors-in-Chief W. Cole Durham, Malcolm Evans, Silvio Ferrari, Julian Rivers, Gerhard Robbers; Managing Editor Peter Petkoff

The Oxford Journal of Law and Religion publishes a range of articles drawn from various sectors of the law and religion field, including: social, legal and political issues involving the relationship between law and religion in society; comparative law perspectives on the relationship between religion and state institutions; developments regarding human and constitutional rights to freedom of religion or belief; considerations of the relationship between religious and secular legal systems; empirical work on the place of religion in society; and other salient areas where law and religion interact (e.g., theology, legal and political theory, legal history, philosophy, etc.).

Religion & Human Rights

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jeroen Temperman, Associate Professor of Public International Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Editorial Board: Professor Malcolm Evans, Professor of Public International Law, University of Bristol, UK;  Dr. Roja Fazaeli, Lecturer in Islamic Studies, School of Religions and Theology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; Dr. Nazila Ghanea, University Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford, UK, Founding Editor, Journal of Religion and Human Rights; Dr. Sylvie Langlaude, Lecturer in Law, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Religion & Human Rights provides a unique academic forum for the discussion of issues which are of crucial importance and which have global reach. The Journal covers the interactions, conflicts and reconciliations between religions or beliefs on the one hand; and systems for the promotion and protection of human rights, international, regional and national, on the other.  The Journal tackles these issues fearlessly, and draws its materials from all relevant disciplines – theology, anthropology, history, international relations, human rights, religious studies, and many others – but with special emphasis on legal frameworks. It is an indispensable source for all those concerned with monitoring, studying, teaching, analysing or developing policies on the relationship between religion and human rights today.  The Journal of Religion & Human Rights is a peer-reviewed, academic journal, published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers – the world’s leading imprint for international Human Rights books and periodicals. Nijhoff is an imprint of Brill in Leiden, The Netherlands, which is itself internationally renowned for the strength of its publishing programmes, inter alia, in the field of religious studies. The Journal is available online as well as in traditional form.

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