Law and Religion

in staturory enactments since Late Antiquity

Prof. Dr. Thomas Rüfner and Prof. Dr. Iole Fagnoli, Mailand/Bern.

Maintaining the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths is one of the greatest challenges that societies face today. The heated political debate and legal controvery regarding the wearing of heasdscarfs in public schools is illustrates how difficult it is for governments all over the world to find balanced solutions for the ensuing legal issues.

Diverse religious beliefs have been the object of legislative intervention for a long tiime. In the past however, the state did not usually adopt a neutral position vis-a-vis the various creeds. Rather, the aim of legislation was to give active support to one of the religious parties.

The seminar will analyse pieces of legislation dealing with certain religious ciommunities or religious practices from late antiquity to early modern times. Participating students can choose to give a paper on Roman law or on a subject taken from the more recent history of law. The development of legislation regarding religion in a given country may also be the subject of paper.

The seminar will take place on a weekend, most likely at the beginning of December 2007. Es wird zugleich als Prüfungsseminar angeboten. Participation is recommended for students intending to choose "The foundations of legal development in Europe" as their area of specialization.

Students wishing to participate should declare their interest by e-mail. It is also possible to participate without giving a paper.

Some subjects to be discussed:

  • Jews as serfs of the Imperial chamber in the middle ages.
  • The trade embargo against Muslims in medieval canon law.
  • Provisions against heretics in the Liber Augustalis.
  • The peace of Augsburg.