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The Law and Religion Project

The Law and Religion Project is significant strategic initiative for the University of Adelaide and the nation.

This project is the first centre or institute in Australia to study the relationship between society, law and religion - putting it at the leading edge in Australia of what is already a major research area worldwide.

The principal objective is to create a space for dialogue on significant issues involving the relationship between society, law and religion in Australia. We seek to foster an environment where divergent views can be expressed with good will and respect. Based upon this objective, the project's principal research aims include robust debate on:

  • The role of religion in both creating and sovling current social, moral and ethical issues;
  • The protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and privacy;
  • Religious fundamentalism;
  • The role of religion in education; and
  • Citizenship and migration.

In exploring these issues the focus includes secular and non secular perspectives. Within this framework, it aims to study the relationship between law and religion where:

  • Law acts as an aribter between religion and society/state;
  • Religion has some influence or potential influence upon law, such as in the case of moral goals and imperatives;
  • Religions have their own legal systems, such as Judaism, Islam and Hinduism;
  • Secular law applies to modern society.

All of this is directed at understanding the place and role of religion and law in contemporary Australian society.

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Research Unit for the Study
of Society, Ethics & the Law

Adelaide Law School
Ligertwood Building
The University of Adelaide SA 5005
North Tce Campus Map


Associate Professor Bernadette Richards
T: +61 8 8313 6302
F: +61 8 8313 4344

Adelaide Law School