Sachs and Mogoeng to speak at SU conference on law and religion

Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs (PHOTO: Wikipedia)
Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs (PHOTO: Wikipedia)

Two well-known figures in South African law, Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs and Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, will be the keynote speakers at an international conference on Law and Religion in Africa to be held at Stellenbosch University (SU).

Sachs, a former political activist and member of the National Executive of the African National Congress, was a Constitutional Court judge from 1994 to 2009 and played a key role in the process that led to the legalisation of same sex marriage in South Africa in 2006. Mogoeng is a committed Christian who was widely criticised, questioned and ridiculed by media, politicians and gender groups who opposed his nomination as Chief Justice in 2011 because of his faith.

The conference, which is hosted jointly by the Faculties of Law and Theology at SU, will take place from May 26 to 28, 2014 at the Protea Hotel in Technopark, Stellenbosch.

Titled “Law and Religion in Africa – The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies”, the conference offers academics from many countries, religious leaders of different faiths, members from different religions, as well as judges and lawyers, the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of and interaction between law and religion and the challenges that this poses to us.

• Emeritus Justice Albie Sachs will deliver his address on Monday, May 26, at 19:15 (snacks will be served at 18:30) and Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng will speak on Tuesday, May 27, at 19:15 (a conference dinner starts at 18:30).

“In the world in which we live and in our daily experiences the fact of law and religion plays a very important role and is increasingly doing so,” says Prof Pieter Coertzen of the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion at SU’s Faculty of Theology.

“It is therefore no wonder that academic and practical reflection on the relationship between law and religion is also of increasing interest on many academic agendas around the world.”

Among the topics to be discussed at the conference are philosophical views on law and religion; theology and law; African traditional religion; religion; state and society; religious intolerance and persecution; and marriage, women, children and education in law and religion.

Other speakers at the conference include Justice Annel Silungwe, Chief Justice Emeritus of Zambia; Prof Kofih Quashiga, Dean of Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana; Prof Tom Bennett of University of Cape Town; Prof Mary-Anne Plaatjies van Huffel of SU’s Faculty of Theology; and Prof Johan van der Vyver of Emory School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.

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